^ ^^P c^"^
" ' m^^ ^ '
CHARLES C. JONES, Jr.
lOK UEIIE HAVE WE NO COXTlNOISa CITV.
S. FEB 16 1882
MOKNING NEWS STEAM I'KIN'JING HOUSE.
GEORGE WYMBERLEY-JONES DeRENNE, ESQ.,
■WHOSE INTELLIGENT EESEARCH, CtTLTIVATED TASTE, AND AMPLE FORTUNE HAVE BEEN
SO GENEROUSLY ENLISTED IN RESCUING FROM OBLIVION
THE EARLY MEMORIES OF GEORGIA,
THESE SKETCHES ARE RESPECTFULLY AND CORDIALLY INSCRIBED.
If it be praiseworthy in their descendants to erect monuments in
honor of the illustrious dead, and to perpetuate in history the lives and
acts of those who gave shape to the past and encouragement to the
future, surely it will not be deemed inappropriate to gather up the
fragmentary memories of towns once vital and influential within our
borders, but now covered with the mantle of decay, without succession,
and wholly silent amid the voices of the present.
Against the miasmatic influences of the swamps, Spanish perils, the
hostility of the Aborigines, and the povertj^ and sometimes narrow
raindedness of the Trust, did the Colonists grievously struggle in as-
serting their dominion over the untamed lands from the Savannah to
the Alatamaha. Nothing indicates so surely the vicissitudes and the
mistakes encountered during that primal period of development, as the
Dead Towns of Georgia. From each comes in turn the whisper
of hope, the sound of the battle with nature for life and comfort, the
sad strain of disappointment, and then the silence of nothingness.
Of the chosen seats and characteristics of the primitive peoples who
inhabited this territory prior to the advent of the European we have
Of the indications of a foreign occupancy antedating the colonization
under Oglethorpe, such, for example, as those observed by DeBrahmf
on Demetrius' island, and a few others which might be mentioned, —
we refrain from writing, because the theories explanatory of their origin,
possession, and abandonment, are so nebulous as to seem incapable of
In narrating the traditions and grouping the almost obsolete memo-
ries of these deserted villages we have endeavored to revive them, as
far as practicable, in the language of those to whom we are indebted
for their transmission. Charles C. Jones, Jr.
Augusta, G-eorgia, February 1st, 1878.
* " Antitinities of the Southern Incliaus, particularly of the Georgia Tribes.'" New
t History of the Province of Georgia, pp. 29, 30. Wormsloe, 18i'J.
L OLD AND NEW EBENEZER, - - - - n
IL FREDERIC A, 45
lEL ABERCORN, 137
IV. SUNBURY, 141
y. HARDWICK, 224
YI. PETERSBURG, JACKSONBOROUGH, &C., - - 233
VII. MISCELLANEOUS TOWNS, PLANTATIONS, &C., 245
1. PLAN OF NEW EBENEZER.
2. PLAN OF FREDERICA.
3. PLAN OF SUNBURY.
4. PLAN OF FORT M0RRI8.
5. OUTLINE OF HARDWICK.
y ^j^) ^J^AKT^-D
B leiL, Photo Lith. N. T
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER
Daring the four years commeiiciug in 1729 and ending
in 1732, 'more than thirty thousand Saltzburgers, impelled
by the fierce persecutions of Leopold, abandoned their
homes in the broad valley of the Salza and sought refuge
in Prussia, Holland, and England, where their past suf-
ferings and present Avants enlisted substantial sympathy
and relief from Protestant communities. Persuaded by
the "Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge,"
and acting upon the invitation of the Trustees of the
Colony of Georgia, — who engaged not only to advance the
funds necessar}' to defray the expenses of the journey and
purchase the requisite sea-stores, but also to allot to each
emigrant on his arrival in Georgia fifty acres of land in fee,«
and provisions sufficient to maintain himself and family
until such land could be made available for support, —
forty-two Saltzburgers, with their wives and children, —
numbering in all seventy-eight souls, — set out from the
town of Berchtolsgaden and its vicinity for Rotterdam,
whence they were to be transported free of charge to
Dover, England. At Rotterdam they were joined by their
chosen religious teachers, the Reverend John Martin Bol-
zius and the Reverend Israel Christian Gronau. The oath
of loyality having been administered to them at Dover by
the Trustees, these pious, industrious, and honest emi-
12 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
grants, on the 28tli of December, 1733, set sail in the ship
Purisburg and, after a tedious and perilous passage, reached
Charlestown, South Carolina, in safety. Mr. Oglethorpe,
chancing to be there at the time, arranged that the Saltz-
burgers should proceed without delay to Savannah. The
Savannah river was entered by them on the 10th of March,
1734. It was Reminiscere Sunday, according to the Lutheran
calendar ; — the gospel of the day being " Our Blessed Sa-
viour came to the Borders of the Heathen after He had
been persecuted in His own Country." "Lying in fine
and calm weather, under the Shore of our beloved Georgia,
where we heard the Birds sing melodiously, every Body
in the ship was joyful. " So wTote the Reverend Mr.
Bolzius, the faithful attendant and spiritual guide of this
Protestant band. He tells us also, that two days after-
wards, when the ship arrived at the place of landing, " al-
most all the Inhabitants of the Town of Savannah were
gather'd together; they fired off some Cannons, and cried
Huzzah! which was answer'd by our Sailors, and othei'
English People in our Ship in the same manner. Some
of us were immediately fetch'd on Shore in a Boat, and
carried about the City, into the woods, and the new Garden
belonging to the Trustees. In the meantime a very good
Dinner was prepared for us : And the Saltzhiirgers, who had
yet fresh Meat in the Ship, when they came on shore,
they got very good and wholesome English strong Beer.
And besides the Inhabitants shewing them a great deal of
Kindness, and the Country pleasing them, they were full
of Joy and praised God for it."^
Leaving his people comfortably located in tents, and in
the hospitable care of the Colonists at Savannah, Mr. Yon
* Extract of the Journals of Mr. Comraissary VonReck, &c., p. 32. London, 1734.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 13
Reck set out on horseback with Mr. Oglethorpe to take a
view of the country and select a spot where the Saltz-
burgers might form their settlement. At nine o'clock on
the morning of the 17th of March they reached the place
designated as the future home of the emigrants. It was
about four miles below the present town of Springfield, in
Effingham County, sterile and unattractive. To the eye of
the Commissary, however, tired of the sea and weary of
persecutions, it appeared a blessed spot, redolent of sweet
hope, bright promise, and charming repose. Hear his de-
scription : " The Lands are inclosed between two Rivers,
which fall into the Savannah. The Saltzburg Town is to be
built near the largest, which is called Ebenezer,^^ in Remem-
brance that God has brought us hither ; and is navigable,
being twelve Foot deep. A little Rivulet, whose Water is
as clear as Crystal, glides by the Town ; another runs
through it, and both fall into the Ebenezer. The Woods
here' are not so thick as in other Places. The sweet Zephyrs
preserve a delicious coolness notwithstanding the scorching
Beams of the Sun. There are very fine Meadows, in which
a great Quantity of Hay might be made with very little
Pains : there are also Hillocks, very fit for Vines. The
Cedar, Walnut, Pine, Cypress and Oak make the greatest
part of the Woods. There is found in them a great Quantity
of Myrtle Trees out of which they extract, by boiling
the Berries, a green Wax, very proper to make Candles
with. There is much Sassafras, and a great Quantity of
those Herbs of which Indigo is made, and Abundance of
China Roots. The Earth is so fertile that it will bring forth
anything that can be sown or planted in it ; whether Fruits,
Herbs, or Trees. There are wild Vines, which run up to
* The Stone of Help.
14 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
the Tops of tlie tallest Trees ; and the Country is so good
that one may ride full gallop 20 or 30 miles an end: As
to Game, here are Eagles, Wild-Turkies, Roe-Bucks, Wild-
Goats, Stags, Wild-Cows, Horses, Hares, Partridges, and
Buffaloes."^ Upon the return of Mr. Oglethorpe and the
Commissary to Savannah, nine able bodied Saltzburgers
were immediately dispatched, by the way of Abercorn, to
Ebenezer, to cut down trees and erect shelters for the
Colonists. On the 7th of April the rest of the emigrants
arrived, and, with the blessing of the good Mr. Bolzius,
entered at once upon the task of clearing land, constructing
bridges, building shanties, and preparing a road-way to
Abercorn. Wild honey found in a hollow^ tree greatly re-
freshed them, and parrots and patridges made them " a very
good dish." Upon the sandy soil the}'' fixed their hopes for
a generous yield of peas and potatoes. To the " black, fat,
and heavy" land they looked for all sorts of corn ; and from
the clayey soil they purposed manufacturing bricks and
earthen ware. On the 1st of May lots were drawn upon
which houses were to be erected in the town of Ebenezer.
The day following, the hearts of the people were rejoiced by
the coming of ten cows and calves,— sent as a present from
the Magistrates of Savannah in obedience to Mr. Ogle-
thorpe's order. Ten casks " full of all Sorts of Seeds " ar-
riving from Savannah, set these pious peoples to praisin^Bj
God for all His loving kindnesses. Commiserating their
poverty, the Indians gave them deer, and their English
neighbors taught them how to brew a sort of beer made of
molasses, sassafras, and pine tops. Poor Lackner dying, by
common consent the little money he left was made the
" Beginning of a Box for the Poor." The repeated thunder-
Au Extract of tke Journals of Mr. Commissary VoiiReck, &c., pp. 1(5. 18. Loudou, ITSi.
OLD, AND NEW EKENEZER. 1^
storms and hard rains penetrated tlirougli tlie rude huts
and greatly incommoded the settlers. The water disagreed
with them, causing serioiis affections of the bowels, until
they found a brook, springing from a little hill, Avhich proved
iDoth palatable and wholesome. By appointment, Monday
the 13th of Ma}^ was observed by the congregation as a
season of Thanksgiving.
Depending entirely upon the charity of the Trustees for
. supplies of all sorts, and having but few mechanics among
them, these Saltzburgers labored under great disadvantages
in building their little town in the depths of the woods, and
surrounding themselves with fields and gardens. Patient
of toil, however, and accustomed to work, they cut and
delved away, day by day, rejoicing in their freedom, blessing
the Giver of all good for His mercies, and observing the
rules of honesty, morality, and piety, for wMch their sect
had been so long distinguished. Communication with Sa-
vannah was maintained by way of Abercorn ; to which
place supplies were transported by water.
Early in 1735 the settlement was materially strengthened
and encouraged by the arrival of fifty-seven more emigrants
under the conduct of Mr. Vatt. Among the new-comers
were several mechanics whose knowledge, industry, and
skill were at once applied to hewing timber, splitting shin-
gles, and sawing boards, to the manifest improvement of the
dwellings in Ebenezer.
About a year afterwards occurred what is known as the
' great emhar cation. Including some eighty Germans from
the city of Eatisbon, under the control of Baron YonReck
and Captain Hermsdorf, twenty-seven Moravians under the
care of the Rev'd David Nitschman, the Rev'd John and
Charles Wesley, and the Bev'd Mr. Ingham, — Missionaries to
16 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEOlIA.
the Indians, — and a number of poor English famihes, this
accession to the Colony of Georgia aggregated some two
hundred and twenty-seven persons, of whom two hundred
and two were conveyed upon the Trust's account. Francis
Moore was appointed keeper of the stores. Oglethorpe in
person accompanied the Colonists, and exercised a fatherly
care over them during the voyage. They were transported
in the Symond of 220 tons, — Capt. Joseph Cornish, — and
the London Merchant, of like burthen, — Capt. John
Thomas. "" During the voyage the German Dissenters " sung
psalms and served God in their own way." Turnips, carrots,
potatoes, and onions, issued with the salt provisions, pre-
vented scurvy. In order to promote comfort and good
order, the ships had been divided into cabins, with gang-
ways between them, in which the emigrants were disposed
according to families. The single men were located by
themselves. Weather permitting, the vessels were cleaned
between decks and washed with vinegar to keep them swee t
Constables were appointed "to prevent any disorders," and
so admirably was discipline preserved, that there was no
occasion for punishment except in the case of a boy, "who
was whipped for stealing of turnips." The men were
exercised with smaU arms, and instructed by Mr. Oglethorpe
in the duties which would devolve upon them as free-holders
in the new settlement. To the women were given thread,
worsted, and knitting needles ; and they were required to
employ "their leisure time in making Stockings and Caps
for their Family, or in mending their Cloaths and Linnen."
In this sensible way were matters ordered on these emigrant
ships, and the colonists, during a protracted voyage, pre-
pared for lives of industry in their new homes.
* Moore's Voyage to Georgia, p. 11. London, 1744.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 17
On the 5tli of February, 1736, these ships, with the first of
the flood, were carried over Tjbee bar and found safe
anchorage within. The emigrants were temporarily landed
on Peeper island, where they dug a well and washed their
clothes. It was Mr. Oglethorpe's purpose to send most of
these Saltzburgers to Frederic a that they might assist in the
development of that town and the construction of its fortifi-
cations. Desiring the benefit of their ministers, not wishing
to divide their congregation, and being reluctant to go to
the Southward where " they apprehended blows," — fighting
being "against their religion," — they persuaded Mr. Ogle-
thorpe to permit them to join their countrymen at Ebenezer,
whither they accordingly went some days afterwards and
were heartily welcomed. It will be remembered, however,
that Captain Hermsdorf, with his little company, assured
Mr. Oglethorpe "that he would never forsake him, but serve
with the English to the last." His offer was accepted, and
on the 16th he set out with Mr. Oglethorpe for Frederica.
By this second accession the population of Ebenezer was
increased so that it numbered in all some two hundred souls.
Contentment and prosperity did not obtain in the town.
In the fertility of the soil the inhabitants had encountered
disappointment. Much sickness prevailed, and they were
oppressed with the isolated character of their location. The
creek upon which the town was situated was uncertain in
volume, serpentine, and difficult of navigation. Although
the distance from Old Ebenezer to the Savannah river by
land did not exceed six miles, by following this, the only
outlet by water, twenty-five miles must be passed before
its confluence could be reached.'^
Moved by these and other depressing considerations, the
* Slrobels' Saltzburgdrs and their Descendants, p. 87. Baltimore^ 1855.
l8 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Reverend Messrs. Bolzius and Gronau visited Savannah
at the instance of their flock, and conferred with Mr. Ogle-
thorpe as to the propriety of changing the location of the
town. Moore says the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer were so
discontented that they " demanded to leave their old Town,
and to settle upon the Lands which the Indians had reserved
for their own Use.""
Having patiently listened to the request, Mr. Oglethorpe,
on the 9th of February, 1736, set out with the Saltzburger
ministers and several gentlemen for Ebenezer, to make a
personal inspection of the situation and satisfy himself with
regard to the expediency of the removal. He was received
with every mark of consideration, and proceeded at once
to consider the causes which induced the inhabitants to
desire a change. Admitting that the existing "dissatis-
faction was not groundless, and that there were many em-
barrassments connected with their situation," he neverthe-
less endeavored to dissuade them from their purjDOse by
reminding them that the labor already expended in clearing
their lands, building houses, and constructing roads would,
upon removal, be almost wholly lost. The hardships in-
cident upon forming an entirely new settlement were urged
upon their serious consideration. He also assured them
that in clearing the forests, and in bringing the lands on
the bank of the Savannah river under cultivation they would
encounter the same diseases w^hicli afflicted them in their
present location. He concluded, however, by assuring them
that if they were resolved upon making the change he would
not forbid it, but w^ould assist them, as far as practicable,
in compassing their design.
* Voj'age to Georgia, &c., p. 23. London, 1741.
In reporting this change of location to the Trustees, Mr, Oglethorpe, on the 13th
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 19
After this conference, and upon Mr. Oglethorpe's return
to Savannah, the question of a change of location was again
considered by the Saltzburgers, who resolved among them-
selves that a removal was essential to the prosperity of their
colony.* Acting upon this determination the community,
without delay, set about migrating to the site selected for
the new town. This was on a higli ridge, near the Savannah
river, called "Red Bluff" from the peculiar color of the
soil. It received the name of New Ebenezer ; and, to the
simple-minded Germans, oppressed by poverty and sad-
dened by the disappointments of the past, seemed to offer
future happiness and much coveted prosperit}^ The labor
of removal appears to have been compassed within less
than two years. In June, 1738, Old Ebenezer ^ had de-
generated into a cow-pen, where Joseph Barker resided
and "had the care of the Trust's Cattle." William Stephens
gives us a pitiable view of the abandoned spot when he vis-
of February, wrote as follows : " The people at Ebeuezei; are very discontented and
Mr. VonReck and they that come with him, refuse to settle to the Southward. I
was forced to go to Ebenezer to quiet things there and have taken all the proceed-
ings in writing. Finding the people were only ignorant and obstinate, but without
any ill intention, I consented to the changing of their Town. They leave a sweet
place where they had made great improvements, to go into a wood,"*
=>= Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iir, p. 13. Savannah, 1873.
Compare Harris' Biographical Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 130, 132. Boston, 18-tl,
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 113, London, 18(JT.
Strobel's Saltzbiirgers and their Descendants, p. 89. Baltimore, 1855.
1| Eeverend Mr. John Wesley, writing in 1737, records in his Journal the following
description of this abandoned settlement : " Old Ebenezer, where the Saltzburgkers settled
at first, lies twenty-five miles w-est of Savannah. A small Creek runs by the Town,
down to the River, and many Brooks run between the little Hills : But the soil is a
hungry, barren sand ; and upon any sudden Shower, the Brooks rise several Feet
perpendicular, and overflow whatever is near them. Since the Saltzburgkers remov'd,
two English Families have been placed there ; but these too say. That the Land is good
for nothing ; and that the Creek is of little Use ; it being by Water twenty miles to the River ; and
the Water generally so low in Summer-time, thai a Boat cannot come within six or sevem miles of
*An Extract of the Rev. Mr. John Wesley's Journal, &c., kc, pp. 59, GO. Bristol, n. d.
20 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOHGIA.
ited it on tlie 26tli of that month: — Indian traders, returning
from Savannah, lodging for the night with Barker, who was
unable to give due account of the cattle under his charge,
and a servant, Sommers, moving about with " the Small-
Pox out full upon him.""^ Thus early did " Old Ebenezer "
take its silent place among the lost towns of Georgia. Its
life of trials and sorrow, of ill-founded hope and sure dis-
appointment, was measured by scarcely more than two
years, and its frail memories were speedily lost amid the
sighs and the shadows of the monotonous pines which
environed the place.
The situation of the new Town, Mr. Strobel says, was quite
romantic. "On the east lay the Savannah with its broad,
smooth surface and its every varying and beautiful scenery.
On the south was a stream, then called Little Creek, but
now known as Lockner's Creek, and a large lake called
' Neidlinger's Sea ;' while to the north, not very distant
from the the town, was to be seen their old acquaintance,
Ebenezer Creek, sluggishly winding its way to mingle with
the waters of the Savannah. The surrounding country was
gently undulating and covered with a fine growth of forest
trees, while the jessamine, the woodbine and the beautiful
azaUa, with its variety of gaudy colors, added a peculiar
richness to the picturesque scene. But unfortunately for
the permanent prosperity of the town, it was surrounded on
* Joiirnal of the Proceedings in Georgia, vol. i, pp. 226, 227. London, 1742.
In 1740 this Cow-Pen was still in existence at Old Ebenezer, the Trustees having a
great number of cattle there. "But," continiies the narrative, " they were much
neglected, there not being Horses or Men sufficient to drive up the young and out-
* A State of the Province attested upon Oath in the Court of Savannah, November
10, 1740, p. 9. London, 1742.
Compare An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Geor-
gia, p. 48. London, 1741.
Harris" Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, &c., vol. ii, p. 337. London, 1748.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 21
three sides by low swamps which were subject to periodical
inundation, and consequently generated a poisonous miasma
prejudical to the health of the inhabitants.""^
The plan adopted in laying out the town was prescribed
by General Oglethorpe, and closely resembles that of
Savannah ; — the size of the lots and the width of the streets
and lanes being in each case quite similar. To John Gerar,
William DeBrahm, his Majesty's Surveyor General for the
Southern District of North Ameri(;a, who in 1757 erected
a fort at Ebenezer, are we indebted for an accurate plan
of that town.f As the village increased, this plan was ex-
tended ; — its distinctive characteristics being retained.
From contemporaneous notices we learn that New Ebenezer,
within a short time after its settlement, gave manifest token
of substantial growth and prosperity. The houses there
erected were larger and more comfortable than those which
had been built in the old town. Gardens and farms were
cleared, enclosed, and brought under creditable cultivation,
and the sedate, religious inhabitants enjoyed the fruits of
their industry and economy.
Funds received from Germany for that purpose were
employed in the erection of an Orphan House, in which,
for lack of a Church, the community worshipped for several
We presume the account of the condition of Ebenezer
in 1738-9, furnished by Benjamin Martyn,.}: is as interesting
and reliable as any that can be suggested. It is as follows :
" Fifteen miles from Furyshurg on the Georgia side, is Ebe-
nezer, where the Saltzburghers are situated ; their Houses are
* Sfcrobel's Saltzburgei'S and their Descendants, p. 91. Baltimore, 1855.
t History of the Province of Georgia, &c., Plan facing p. 24. Wormsloe, 1849.
J An Impartial Enquiry Into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, p. 47.
22 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
neat, and regularly set out in Streets, and the whole
CEconomy of their town, under the Influence of their Min-
isters, Mess. Bolzius and Gronau, is very exemplary. For
the Benefit of their Milch Cattle, a Herdsman is appointed
to attend them in the Woods all the Day, and bring them
Home in the Evening. Their Stock of out-lying Cattle is
also nnder the Care of two other Herdsmen, who attend
them in their Feeding in the Daj^, and drive them into
Cow-Pens at night. This secures the Owners from any
Loss, and the Herdsmen are paid by a small Contribution
among the People. These are very industrious, and subsist
comfortably by their Labour. Though there is no regular
Court of Justice, as they live in Sobriety, they maintain
great Order and Decency. In case of any Differences, the
Minister calls three or four of the most prudent Elders
together, who in a summary Way hear and determine as
they think jnst, and the Parties alwa3-s acquiesce with Con-
tent in their Judgment. They are verj^ regular in their
public Worship, which is on Week-Days in the Evening
Anotlier contemporaneous account is almost identical ; " On the Georgia side [of the
Savannah river], twelve miles from Parijsburg, is the Town of Ebenezer, which thrives
very much ; there are very good Houses built for each of the Ministers, and an
Orphan House : and they have partly framed Houses and partly Huts, neatly built,
and formed into regular streets ; they have a great deal of Cattle and Corn-Ground,
so that they sell Provisions at Savannah; for they raise much more than they can
*A State of the Province of .Georgia attested upon Oath in the Court of Savannah,
November 10, 1740, p. 5, London, 1742. See also idem, pp. 29, 31. "An Impartial
Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia," p. 13. London, 1741.
Compare Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, &c., vol. ii, p. 337.
•The Eev. Mr. John Wesley's description is as follows: "New Ebenezer, to which the
Saltzburghers removed in March, 1736, lies six Miles Eastward from the Old, on a high bluff,
near the Savannah Kiver Here are some Tracts of Fruitful Land, tho' the greatest
Part of that adjoining to the Town, is Pine-barren. The Huts, 60 in number, are neatly
and regularly built ; the little Piece of Ground allotted to each for a Garden, is every-
where put to the best Use, no spot being left unplanted. Nay, even one of the main
Streets, being one more than was as jet wanted, bore them this year a crop of Indian
An Extract of the Eev. Mr. John Wesley's Journal, &c., p. 60. Bristol, n. d.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 2S
after their Work ; and in the Forenoon and Evening on
Sundays. Thej have built a large and convenient House for
the Keception of Orphans, and other poor Children, who
are maintained by Benefactions among the People, are
well taken Care of and taught to work according as their
Age and Ability will permit. The Number computed by Mr.
Bolzius in June, 1738, whereof his Congregation consisted,
was one hundred forty-six, and some more have since
been settled among them. They are all in general so well
pleased with their condition, that not one of their People
has abandoned the Settlement."
General Oglethorpe received a letter, dated Ebenezer,
March 13, 1739, signed by forty-nine men of the Saltzbur-
gers and verified by their Ministers, in which they assured
him that they were well settled and pleased with the climate
and condition of the country ; that although the season was
hotter than that of their native land, having become ac-
customed to it, they found it tolerable and convenient for
working people ; and that their custom was to commence
their out-door labor early in the morning and continue it
until ten o'clock ; resuming it again from three in the after-
noon until sun-set. During the heated term of mid-day,
matters within their houses engaged their attention. The
General was also informed that they had practically de-
monstrated the falsity of the tale told them on their arrival
that rice could be cultivated only by negroes. " We laugh
at such a Talking," — -so they wrote, " seeing that several
People of us have had, in last Harvest, a greater Crop of
Rice than they wanted for their own Consumption. Of
Corn, Pease, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Cabbage, &c., we had
such a good Quantity that many Bushels are sold, and much
was spent in feeding Cows, Calves and Hogs." The letter
24 ' THE DEAD TOWNS OF aEORGlA.
concludes with an earnest petition tliat negroes should be
excluded from their town and neighborhood, alleging as a
reason that their houses and gardens would be robbed by
them, and that, "besides other great inconveniences, white
people were in danger of life from them."'"''
Of humble origin and moderate education, of primitive
habits, accustomed to labor, free from covetousness and
ambition, temperate, industrious, frugal and orderh^, soli-
citous for the education of their children and the mainte-
nance of the needy and the orphan, meddling not in the
affaks of their neighbors, acknowledging allegiance to the
Trustees and the King of England, maintaining direct
connection with the Lutheran Church in Germany, and sub-
mitting without question to the decisions of their ministers
and elders in all matters, whether of a civil or ecclesiastical
nature, engaging in no pursuits save of an agricultural or
a mechanical character, and little given either to excite-
ment or wandering, these Saltzburgers for years preserved
the integrity of their community and their religion, and
secured for themselves a comfortable existence. As early
as 1738 the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer made some limited
experiment in growing cotton and were much encouraged ; — -
the yield being abundant, and of an excellent quality. The
Trustees, however, having fixed their hopes upon silk and
wine, the cultivation of this plant was not countenanced. t
It was estimated by Mr. Benjamin Martyn, Secretary of
the Trustees, that up to the 3'ear 1741, not less than twelve
*An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, pp.
69, 72. London, 17^1.
Compare A State of the Province of Georgia attested upon Oath, &c., pp. .I, 29, 30,
32. London, 1742.
An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, &c., pp. GO^
69. London, 1741.
i See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 199. Savannah, 18ll,
OLti, AND NEW EBENEZEE. 25
hundred German Protestants had arrived in the Colony.
Their principal settlements were at Ebenezer, Bethany,
Savannah, Frederica, Goshen, and along the road leading
from Savannah to Ebenezer. They were all characterized
by industry, sobriety, and thrift.
About the year 1744 the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer and
along the line of the public road running from that town
to Savannah, through the assistance of friends in Germany,
were enabled to build two comfortable and substantial
houses for public worship, — one at New Ebenezer, called
Jerusalem Church, and the other about four miles below,
named Zion Church. The joy experienced upon the dedi-
cation of these sacred buildings was soon turned to grief
by the death of one of their faithful pa.stors, — the Reverend
Israel C. Gronau, — who, in the supreme moments of a
lingering fever, desiring a friend to support his hands
uplifted in praise of the Great Master whom he had so long
and so truthfully served, exclaimed " Come, Lord Jesus !
Amen ! ! Amen ! ! ! " and with these words, — the last upon
his lips, — entered into peace.""
Reverend Mr. Bolzius continued to be the principal pastor
and, as an assistant, the Reverend Mr. Lembke Avas asso-
ciated with him.
As early as January 31, 1732, Sir Thomas Lombef cer-
tified to the Trustees of the Colony that silk produced in
Carolina possessed " as much natural Strength and Beauty
as the Silk of Italy." In his "New and Accurate Account
of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia,":}: Mr.
Oglethorpe enumerated among the chief revenues which
* See Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, p. 123. Baltimore, 1855.
t An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, &c.) pp. 39, 40. London,,
+ Chapter V, pp. .55, 59. London, 1733.
26 THE DEA.D TOWNS OP GEORGIA.
might be anticipated from the settlement of Georgia, profits
to arise from the manufacture of silk. His opinion was that
between forty and fifty thousand people might be advan-
tageously employed in this business. In view of the encour-
agement which might reasonably be expected from Parlia-
ment, and the cheapness of the labor and land, he estimated
that the cost of production would be at least twenty-five
per cent, lower than that then current in Piedmont. Sharing
in this belief, the Trustees sent to Italy for silk-worm eggs,
and engaged the services of several Piedmontese to go to
Georgia and instruct the Colonists in tlip. production of
silk.^ In the grants of land to parties emigrating to Georgia
either at their own expense or at the charge of the Charity,
may be found covenants on the part of the grantees to
" keep a sufficient number of white mulberry trees standing
on every acre," or else to "plant them where they were
wanted." A special plea is entered by Benjamin Martyn
in behalf of silk-culture in Georgia and the manifest benefits
to be expected. t
The early accounts all agree in representing the pro-
duction of silk as one of the most important matters to
be considered and fostered in connection with the establish-
ment and development of the Colony of Georgia. ^B
In 1735, Queen Caroline, upon the King's birth-day, ap-
peared in a full robe of Georgia silk ; and in 1739 a parcel
of raw silk, brought from Georgia by Samuel Augspourguer,
was exhibited at the Trustees' office in London to "Mr. John
^achary, — an eminent raw-silk merchant, — and to Mr.
Booth,— one of the greatest silk-weavers in England," — both
* An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, p. 13. Lon-
t Martyn's Reasons for establishing the Colony of Georgia with I'egard to the Trade of
Great Britain, p. 9. London, 1733.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 27
of whom " declared it to be as fine as any Italian silk,
and worth at least twenty shillings a pound."*
With that industry and patience so characteristic of them
as a people, the inhabitants of New Ebenezer were among
the earliest and the most persevering in their efforts to
carry into practical operation Mr. Oglethorpe's wishes in
regard to the production of silk. In 1736 each Saltzburger
there was presented with a mulberry tree, and two of the
congregation were instructed by Mrs. Camuse in the art
Under date of May lltli, 1741, Mr. Bolzius, in his journal,
records the fact that within the preceding two months
twenty girls succeeded in making seventeen pounds of
cocoons which were sold at Savannah for £3, 8s. The same
year £5 were advanced by General Oglethorpe to this
Clergyman for the purchase of trees. With this sum he pro-
cured twelve hundred, and distributed them among the
families of his parish.
On the l:th of December, 1712, five hundred trees were
sent by General Oglethorpe to Ebenezer, with a promise
of more should they be needed. Near Mr. Bolzius' house a
machine for the manufacture of raw-silk was erected, and
the construction of a public Filature was contemplated. Of
the eight hundred and forty-seven pounds of cocoons raised
in the Colony of Georgia in 1747, about one-half was pro-
duced by the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer. Two years after-
wards this yield was increased to seven hundred and sixty-
tAvo pounds of cocoons, and fifty pounds thirteen ounces of
spun silk. Two machines were in operation in Mr. Bolzius'
yard, capable of reeling twenty-four ounces per day. It was
■'^ An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, &c., p. 32.
28 THE DEAD TO>YNS OF GEOEGIA.
apparent, however, that while, by ordinary labor, about two
shillings could be earned, scarcely a shilling per diem could
be expected by one engaged in the manufacture of silk.
This fact proved so discouraging to the Colonists that, ex-
cept at Ebenezer, silk culture was generally relinquished.
The Germans persevered, and as the result of their energy,
over a thousand pounds of cocoons and seventy-four pounds,
two ounces of raw-silk were raised at Ebenezer in 1750, and
sold for £110 sterling. The community was now -pvettj well
supplied with copper basins and reeling machines. Consid-
erable effort was made in England to attract thfe notice of
the Home Government to this production of silk in Georgia,
and to enlist in its behalf fostering influences at the hands
of those in authority. In 1755 a paper was laid before the
Lords of Trade and Plantations, signed by about forty
eminent silk throwsters and weavers, declaring that " having
examined about 300 wt. of Georgia raw-silk they found it as
good as the Piedmontese, and better than the common
Italian silks." Assurance was given that there w^as the
utmost reason to afford "all possible encouragement for
the raising of so valuable a commodity."^
In 1761 fifteen thousand two hundred and twelve pounds
of cocoons were delivered at the Filature in Savannah, then
under the charge of Mr. Ottolenghe, of which eight thou-
sand six hundred and ninety-five pounds were contributed
by the Saltzburgers. In 1766 the production of silk in
Georgia reached its acme, and from that time, despite the
encouragement extended by Parliament, contmued to de-
cline until it was practically abandoned a few years before
the inception of the Kevolution. Operations at the Filature
* Gentleman's Magazine for 1755, p. 185.
London " " " p. 186.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZEE. 29
in Savannah were discontinued in 1771 ; and Sir James
Wright, in his message to the Commons House of Assem-
bly, under date 19th of January, 1771, alhides to the fact
that the Filature buildings were falling into decay, and
suggests that they be put to some other use.
Despite the disinclination existing in other portions of
the Colony to devote much time and labor to the growing
of trees and the manufacture of silk, the Saltzburgers, —
incited by their worthy magistrate, Mr. Wertsch, — redoubled
their efforts, and in 1770, as the result of their industry,
shipped two hundred and ninety-one pounds of raw-silk.
At the suggestion of the Earl of Hillsborough, who w^armly
commended the zeal of these Germans and interested him-
self in procuring from Parliament a small sum to be ex-
ponded in aid of the more indigent of the community, Mr.
Habersham distributed among them the basins and reels
then being in the unused public Filature in Savannah.
"So popular had the silk business become at Ebenezer
that Mr. Habersham, in a letter dated the 30tli of March,
1772, says : 'Some persons in almost every family there un-
derstand its process from the beginning to the end.' In 1771
the Germans sent four hundred and thirty-eight pounds
of raw silk to England, and in 1772 four hundred and eighty-
five pounds: — all of their own raising. They made their
own reels, which were so much esteemed that one was sent
to England as a model, and another taken to the East Indies
by Pickering Robinson."^'"
In the face of the distractions encountered upon the
commencement of hostilities between the Colonies and the
Mother Country, silk culture languished even among these
*Silk Culture in Georgia, by Dr. Stevens. Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 410, ill.
30 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
Germans, and was never afterwards revived to any consid-
erable degree. The unfriendliness of climate, the high price
of labor, the withdrawal of all bomit}^ — which had been the
chief stimulus to exertion, — and the larger profits to be de-
rived from the cultivation of rice and cotton combined to
interrupt silk -raising, and, in the end, caused its total
The construction of a bridge over Ebenezer creek ma-
terially promoted the interests and the convenience of those
residing at Ebenezer ; and the erection of Churches at
Bethany and Goshen, — the former about five miles north-
west of Ebenezer, and the latter some ten miles below and
near the road leading to Savannah, — indicated the growth
of the German plantations along the line of the Savannah
The settlement at Bethany was eftected in 1751 by John
Gerar William DeBrahm, avIio there located one hundred
and sixty Germans. Eleven months afterwards these Colo-
nists w^ere joined by an equal number, — " the Relations and
Acquaintance of the former." The Saltzburgers then num-
bered about fifteen hundred souls.'"' Alluding to the location
and growth of these plantations, and the agricultural pur-
suits of their cultivators, Surveyor-General DeBrahm says :
"The German Settlements have since Streatched S: East-
wardly about 32 miles N : W-ward fi'om the Sea upon Sa-
vannah Stream, from whence they extend up the same
Stream through the whole Salt Air Zona. They cultivate
European and American Grains to Perfection ; as Wheat,
Rye, Barley, Oats ; also Elax, Hemp, Tobacco and Rice,
Indigo, Maize, Peas, Pompions, Melons — they plant Mul-
berry, Apple, Peach, Nectorins, Plumbs and Quince Trees,
* History of tlie Proviuce of Georgia, &c. p. 20. Wormsloe, 1749.
OLi), A>^D NEW EiBENEZER. ,91
besides all manner of European Garden Herbs, but, in
particular, tliev Cliose the Culture of silk their principal
Object, in which Culture they made such a Progress, that
the Filature, which is erected in the City of Savannah could
afford to send in 1768 to London 1,081 Pounds of raw Silk,
equal in Goodness to that manufactured in Piemont ; but
the Bounties to encourage that Manufactory being taken off*,
they discouraged, dropt their hands from that Culture from
year to year in a manner, that in 1771 its Product w^as
only 290 Pounds in lieu of 1,461:, which must have been that
year's Produce, had this Manufactory been encouraged to
increase at a 16 years rate. In lieu of Silk they have taken
under more Consideration the Culture of Maize, Pice, Indigo,
Hemp & Tobacco : But the Yines have not as yet become
an Object of their Attention, altho' in the Country especially
over the German Settlements, Nature makes all the Promises,
yea gives yearly full Assurances of her Assistance by her
own Endeavours producing Clusture Grapes in x\bundance
on its uncultivated Yines ; yet there is no Person, who will
listen to her Addresses, and give her the least Assistance,
notwithstanding many of the Inhabitants are refreshed from
the Sweetness of her wild Productions. The Culture of
Indigo is brought to the same Perfection here, as in South
Carolina, and is manufactured through all the Settlements
from the Sea Coast, to the Extent of the interior Country."^
On the 19th of November, 1765, the Ebenezer congre-
gation was called upon to mourn the loss of its venerable
Spiritual Guide, the Reverend Mr. Bolzius, who had been
at once teacher and magistrate, counsellor and friend during
the tliirty years of povert}* and privation, labor and sorrow,
hope and joy, passed in the wilds of Georgia. He was
* History of the Province of Georgia, &c., pp. 21, 2'2. Wonnsloo, 18Jt9,
S^ THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGlA.
interred, amid the lamentations of his people, in the ceme-
tery near Jerusalem Church, and no stone marks his grave.
After his demise the conduct of the Society devolved
upon Messrs. Lembke and Rabenhorst. This involved not
only the spiritual care of this people, but also the preser-
vation and proper management of the mill-establishments
and public property belonging to the Ebenezer Congrega-
tion. " These two faithful men," writes the Reverend P. A.
Strobel,* "labored harmoniously and successfully in the
discharge of their heavy civil and religious obligations, and
gave entire satisfaction to those with whose interests they
were intrusted." During their administration the large
brick house of worship, known as Jerusalem Church, was
built at Ebenezer. The materials used in its construction
were, for the most part, supplied by the Saltzburgers, while
the funds necessary to defray the cost of erection were
contributed by friends in Germany.
Upon the death of Mr. Lembke, the Reverend Christopher
F. Triebner "was sent over by the reverend fathers in Ger-
many as an adjunct to Mr. Rabenhorst. Being a young
man of talents, but of an impetuous and ambitious dispo-
sition, he soon raised such a tumult in the quiet community
that all the efforts of the famous Mr. Muhlenburg, who was
ordered on a special mission to Ebenezer in 1774 to heal
the disturbances which had arisen, scarce saved the con-
gregation from disintegration. The schism was, however,
finally cured, and peace was restored." For the better
government of the Society, articles of discipline were pre-
pared by Dr. Muhlenburg, which were formally subscribed
by one hundred and twenty-four male members. This
occurred at Jerusalem Church on the 16th of January, 1775,
* The Saltzburgers and their Descendants, &c., p. 149. Baltimore, 1855.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 88
and affords substantial evidence of the strength of the
The property belonging to the Church, according to an
inventory made by Dr. Muhlenburg in 1775, consisted of
the following :
"1. In the hands of Pastor Rabenhorst a capital of £300.
2. In the hands of John Cas^oer Wertsch, for the store, £300.
3. In the mill treasury, notes and money, £229. 16s. 2d.
4. Pastor Triebner has some money in hands, (£400) the
application of which has not been determined by our
5. Belonging to the Church is a Negro Boy at Mr. John
rioerls', and a Negro Girl at Mr. David Steiner's.
6. A town-lot and an out-lot, of which Mr. John Triebner
has the grant in his hands.
7. An inventory of personal goods in the mills belonging
to the estate.
8. And, finally, real estate, with the mills, 925 acres of land."
Including certain legacies from private individuals, and
donations from patrons of the Colony in Germany, which
w^ere received within a short time, it is conjectured that this
church property was then worth not much less than twenty
So long as the congregation at Ebenezer preserved its
integrity, direct allegiance to the parent Church in Germany
was acknowledged, its precepts, orders and deliverances
were obeyed, its teachers welcomed and respected, and
accounts of all receipts, disbursements, and important
transactions regularly rendered. Its pastors continued to
be charged with the administration of affairs, both spiritual
and temporal, and were the duly constituted custodians
S4 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
of all clmrcli funds and property. Upon tlieir arrival in
Georgia, these Saltzbiirgers, wearied with persecutions and
stripped of the small possessions which were once theirs,
were at first quite dependent npon public and private charity
for bare subsistence. They were then unable, by voluntary
contributions, to sustain their pastors and teachers, and
build churches. Foreign aid arrived, however, from time
to time, and this was suj)plemented in a small, yet generous
way, by the labor of the parishioners and such sums and
articles as could be spared from their slow accumulations.
AVith a view to providing for the future, all means thus
derived were carefully invested for the benefit of church
and pastor. This system was maintained for more than fifty
years, so that in the course of time not only were churches
built, but reasonable provision was made for clergyman,
teacher, and orphan, aside from the yearly voluntary contri-
butions of the members of the Society. The education of
youths was not neglected ; and DeBrahm assures us that
in his day a library had been accumulated at Ebenezer in
which "could be had Books wrote in the Caldaic, Hebrew,
Arabec, Siriac, Coptic, Malabar, Greek, Latin, French,
German, Dutch and Spanish, beside the English, viz : in
In the division of the Province of Georgia into eight
Parishes, which occurred on the 15th of March, 1758, "the
district of Abercorn and Goshen, and the district of Ebene-
zer — extending from the northwest boundaries of the parish
of Christ Church up the river Savannah as far as the Beaver
Dam, and southwest as far as the mouth of Horse-Creek
on the river Great Ogechee "—were declared a Parish under
* History of the Province of Georgia, kc, p. 2i. Wormsloe, 1849,
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 35
the name of " The Parish of St. Matthew.""^' The parish
just below, on the line of the Savannah river, and embracing
the town of Savannah, "was known as " Christ Church
The Parish of St. Matthew, and the npper part of St.
Philip lying above the Canonchee river, w^ere, by the Con-
stitution of Georgia adopted at Savannah on the 5th of
February, 1777, consolidated into a county called Effingham. f
In the opinion of the Reverend Mr. Strobel, to whose
valuable sketch of the Saltzburgers and their descendants
we are indebted for much of the information contained in
these pages, Ebenezer attained the height of its impoitance
about 1774. The population of the town proper Avas not
less than five hundred, embracing agriculturists, mechan-
ics, and shop-keepers, who pursued their respective avo-
cations with energy and thrift. Trade with Savannah and
Charleston was carried on by means of sloops and schooners.
In a contemporaneous picture, representing the general
appearance of the town, may be seen two schooners riding
at anchor near the Ebenezer landing.']:
Although there arose a sharp division of sentiment when
the question of direct opposition to the acts of Parliament
was discussed at Ebenezer in 1771, and although quite a
number of the inhabitants favored " passive obedience and
non-resistance," the response of the majority was: "We
have experienced the evils of tyranny in our own land;
*Marbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. 150, 151.
Under the Writs of Election issued by Sir James Wright in 1761, the following gentle-
men were returned as members from St. Matthew's Parish :
Abercorn aud Goshen— William Francis.
Ebenezer— William Ewen, N. W. Jones, and James de Veaux.H
TTMcCairs History of Georgia, vol i, p. 285.
tWatkins' Digest, p. 8.
tSee Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, p. 19i. Baltimore, 1855.
36 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
for the sake of liberty we have left home, lands, houses,
estates, and have taken refuge m the wilds of Georgia ;
shall we now submit again to bondage? No, never." Among
the delegates from the Parish of St. Matthew to the Pro-
vincial Congress which assembled in Savannah on the 4tli
of July, 1775, were the following Saltzburgers : John Stirk,
John Adam Treutlen, Jacob Waldhauer, John Floerl, and
Christopher Craemer. Despite the fact that as a community
the Saltzburgers espoused the cause of the Kevolutionists,
a considerable faction, headed by Mr. Triebner, maintained
an open and a strenuous adherence to the Crown. Between
these parties sprang up an angry controversy, replete with
the bitterest feelings, and very prejudicial to the peace and
prosperit}^ of the congregation. In the midst of the dis-
cussion the Eeverend Mr. Rabenhorst, who exerted his
utmost influence to curb the dominant passions and incul-
cate mutual forbearance, crowned his long and useful life
with a saintly death.
Three days after the capture of Savannah by Colonel
Campbell, a strong force was advanced, under the command
of Lieut. Col. Maitland, to Cherokee Hill. The following
day [January 2, 1779,1 Ebenezer was occupied by the
British troops. Upon their arrival they threw up a redoubt
within a few hundred yards of Jerusalem Church and fortified
the position.:]: The remains of this work are said to be still
visible. The moment he learned that Savannah had fallen
before Colonel Campbell's column, Mr. Triebner hastened
to that place, proclaimed his lo^^alty, and took the oath
of allegiance. The intimation is that he counselled the
immediate occrupation of Ebenezer, and in person accom-
t In 1776, Ebenezer had been partially fortified by the Revolutionists.*
* See letter of Sir James Wright to Lord George Germain unde^ date March 20, 1776.
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. in, p. 239, Savannah, 1873.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 37
panied tlie detacliment which compassed the capture of his
own town and people. He was a violent, uncompromising
man,— -at all times intent upon the success of his peculiar
views and wishes. Influenced bv his advice and example,
not a few of the Saltzburgers subscribed oaths of allegiance
to the British Crown, and received certificates guaranteeing
Royal protection to person and property. Prominent among
those who maintained their adherence to the Rebel cause
were Governor John Adam Trentlen, William Holsendorf,
Colonel John Stirk, Secretary Samuel Stirk, John Schnider,
Rudolph Strohaker, Jonathan Schnider, J. Gotlieb Schnider,
Jonathan Rahn, Ernest Zittrauer, and Joshua and Jacob
" The citizens at Ebenezer and the surrounding country,"
says Mr. Strobel, "were made to feel ver}^ severely the
effects of the war. The property of those who did not take
the oath of allegiance was confiscated, and they were con-
stantly exposed to every species of insult and wrong from
a hired and profligate soldiery. Besides this, some of the
Saltzburgers who espoused the cause of the Crown became
very inveterate in their hostility to the Whigs in the set-
tlement, and pillaged and then burnt their dwellings. The
residence on the farm of the pious Rabenhorst was among
the first given to the flames. Among those who distin-
guished themselves for their cruelty was one Eicliel, — who
has been properly termed an 'inhuman miscreant,' — whose
residence was at Goshen, and Martin Dasher, who kept a
public house five miles below Ebenezer. These men placed
themselves at the head of marauding parties, composed of
British and Tories, and laid waste every plantation or farm
whose occupant was even suspected of favoring the Republi-
can cause. In these predatory excursions the most revolting
38 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOROIA.
cruelty and unbridled licentiousness were indulged, and the
whole country was overrun and devastated. ^^ ^ ^
The Salzburgers, nevertheless, were to experience great
annoyances from other sources. ^ vt -h- j^ i[j^q
of British posts had been established all along the western
bank of the Savannah river to check the demonstrations of
the Eebel forces in Carolina. Under these circumstances,
Ebenezer, from its somewhat central position, became a kind
of thoroughfare for the British troops in passing through
the country from Augusta to Savannah. To the inhabitants
of Ebenezer, particularly, this was a source of perpetual
annoyance. British troops were constant^ quartered among
them, and to avoid the rudeness of the soldiers and the
heavy tax upon their resources, many of the best citizens
were forced to abandon their homes and settle in the
country, thus leaving their houses to the mercy of their cruel
"Besides all this, they were forced to witness almost daily
acts of cruelty practised by the British and Tories toward
those Americans who happened to fall into their hands as
prisoners of war ; for it will be remembered that Ebenezer,
while in the hands of the British, was the point to which
all prisoners taken in the surrounding country were brought
and from thence sent to Savannah. It was from this post
that the prisoners Avere carried who were rescued by
Sergeant Jasper and his comrade, Newton, at the Jasper
Spring, a few miles above Savannah.
" There w^as one act performed by the British commander
which was peculiarly trying and revolting to the Salzburgers.
Their fine brick church was converted into a hospital for
the accommodation of the sick and wounded, and subse-
quently it was desecrated by being used as a stable for their
6Ll), AND NEW EBENEZEfi. 39
liorses. To this latter use it was devoted until the close of
the war and the removal of the British troops from Georgia.
To show their contempt for the church and their disregard
for the religious sentiments of the people, the church records
were nearly all destroyed, and the soldiers would discharge
their guns at different objects on the church ; and even to
this day the metal " S^oan " (Luther's coat of arms) which
surmounts the spire on the steeple, bears the mark of a
musket ball which was fired through it by a reckless soldier.
Often, too, cannon were discharged at the houses ; and there
is a log- house now standing not far from Ebenezer, which
w^as perforated by several cannon shot. '''' ^^ -" The
Salzburgers endured all these hardships and indignities with
becoming fortitude ; and though a few were overcome by
these severe measures, yet the great mass of them remained
firm in their attachment to the principles of liberty.""^^"
It is suggested that the establishment of tippling houses
in Ebenezer, during its occupancy by the British, and con-
stant intercourse with a licentious soldiery, corrupted the
lives of not a few of the once sober and orderly Germans.
That the protracted presence of the enemy, the confiscation
of estates, the interruption of regular pursuits, the expul-
sion of such as clave to the Confederate cause, and the
general demoralization cosnequent u]3on a state of war,
tended to the manifest injury and depopulation of the town,
cannot, for a moment, be questioned. Indications of decay
and ruin were patent in Ebenezer before the cessation of
hostilities. From the time of its occupation by Maitland,
shortly after the capture of Savannah by Colonel Campbell
in December, 1778,^with the exception of the limited
period when its garrison was called in to assist in the
^Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, pp. 203, 207. Baltimore, 1855.
iO THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
defense of Savannah against the operations of the allied
armj under the command of Count DeEstaing and General
Lincoln in the fall of 1779, — Ebenezer continued in the
possession of the British until a short time prior to the
evacuation of Savannah in July, 1783. In his advance
toward Savannah, General Anthony Wayne established his
head quarters at this town. The Tory pastor, Triebner,
who, during the struggle had sided with the Royalists and
remained unmoved amid the sufferings and oppressions of
his people, betook himself to flight so soon as the English
forces were withdrawn, and found a refuge in England,
where he ended his days in seclusion.
Upon the evacuation of Savannah, many of the Saltz-
burgers returned to Ebenezer. Its aspect was sadly
changed. Not a few of the abandoned dwellings had been
burned. Others had fallen into decay. Smiling gardens
had been trampled into desert places, and the impress of
stagnation, neglect, and desolation was upon everything.
Jerusalem Church was a mass of filth, and very dilapidated.
Notwithstanding this sad condition of affairs, much energy
was displayed in the purification and renovation of this
temple of worship, and in the rehabilitation of the town.
The arrival of the Reverend John Ernest Bergman, — a
clergyman of decided talents and of considerable literary
attainments, — and the revival of the parochial school greatly
encouraged the depressed inhabitants and promoted the
general improvement of the place. The population began
to increase. It assumed an apparently permanent character?
and countenanced the hope that the ante-bellum quiet, good
order, thrift, and prosperity would be regained. This ex-
pectation, however, was not fully realized. The former
trade never revived. The mills were never again put in
OLD, AND NEW EBMEZSB. 41
motion. Silk-culture was renewed only to a limited degree.
Having for twenty-five years more remained about station-
ary, New Ebenezer commenced visibly to decline ; and, when
scarcely more than a century old, took its place, in silence
and nothingness, among the dead towns of Georgia."^
The act of February 26th, 1784,t provided for the erec-
tion of the " Court House and Gaol " and for holding public
elections in Effingham County at Tuckasee-King, near the
present line of Scriven County. The situation proving in-
convenient, three years afterwards the county-seat was re-
moved to Elberton, near Indian Bluff, on the north side of
the Great Ogeechee river.
On the 18th of February, 1796, the Legislature of Geor-
giaj appointed Jeremiah Cuyler, John G. Neidlinger, Jona-
than Rawhn, Elias Hodges, and John Martin Dasher "com-
missioners for the town and common of Ebenezer," with in-
structions to have the town " surveyed and laid out as nearly
as possible in conformity to the original plan thereof, to
sell all vacant lots, and such as had become vested in the
State, [reserving such only as were necessary for public
uses,] and appropriate the proceeds to the erection of a
County Court House and Jail." Any over-plus was to be
applied to building a public Academy. For three years only
did Ebenezer remain the County Town of Effingham County.
In 1799, its public buildings were sold, and the village of
Springfield was designated by the Legislature as " the per-
manent seat for the public buildings of the County of Effing-
* Ebenezer is not mentioned among the principal towns of Georgia enumerated by
George Sibbald in 1801. ,
See "Notes and Observations on the Pine Lauds of Georgia," &c., pp.58 to 6G, Augusta,
t Watkins' Digest, p. 298.
JMarbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. 154, 155.
42 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
ham."" Dayid Hall, Joshua Loper, Samuel Kyals, Godhelf
Smith, and Drurias Garrison were appointed commissioners
to carry this change into effect.
In 1808 the Ebenezer Congregation received legislative
permission to sell the glebe lands which it owned. By de-
grees all the real estate held by the society was disposed of.
The proceeds arising from these sales were invested in lands,
mortgages, and securities ; — the interest accruing being ap-
plied to the payment of the pastor's salary and the current
expenses of the church. t
Until about the year 1803 all the religious services
observed by the Saltzburgers were conducted in the German
language ; and, in the church at Ebenezer, for a long time
subsequent to that date, the religious exercises continued
in that tongue. Methodist and Baptist Churches springing
up in the neighborhood drew away many of the younger
members of the congregation. The introduction of the
English language into all the Saltzburger Churches was
effected in 1824 through the instrumentality of the Eeverend
Christopher F. Bergman.
Year by year Ebenezer became more sparsely populated.
Many of its citizens removed into the interior and upper
parts of the county. Quite a number formed settlements
in Scriven County, while others went to Savannah, and to
Lowndes, Liberty, and Thomas counties. Others still, —
more enterprizing than their fellows, — sought new homes in
South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
We close this sketch with a picture of Ebenezer painted
by one of the late Pastorst of Jerusalem Church, — a gen-
*Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 158.
tSee Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, p. 234, Baltimore, 1855.
JRev'dP. A. Strobel.
OLD, AND NEW EBENEZER. 43
tleman of cultivation and of piety, who saw the last waves
of oblivion as they closed over the town and obliterated
its decayed traces from the grass covered bluff of the
" To one visiting the ancient town of Ebenezer, in the
present day  the prospect which presents itself is
anything but attractive ; and the stranger who is unacquaint-
ed with its history would perhaps discover very little to
excite his curiosity or awaken his sympathies. The town
has gone almost entirely to ruins. Only two residences are
now remaining, and one of these is untenanted. The old
church, however, stands in bold relief upon an open lawn,
and by its somewhat antique appearance seems silently, yet
forcibly, to call up the reminiscences of former years. Not
far distant from the church is the cemetery, in which are
sleeping the remains of the venerable men who founded
the colony and the church, and many of their descendants
who, one by one, have gone down to the grave to mingle
their ashes with those of their illustrious ancestors.
"Except upon the Sabbath, when the descendants of the
Saltzburgers go up to their temple to worship the God of
their fathers, the stillness which reigns around Ebenezer
is seldom broken, save by the warbling of birds, the occa-
sional transit of a steamer, or the murmurs of the Savannah
as it flows on to lose itself in the ocean. The sighing winds
chant melancholy dirges as they sweep through the lofty
pines and cedars which cast their sombre shades over this
'deserted village.' Desolation seems to have spread over
this once-favored spot its withering wing, and here, where
generation after generation grew up and flourished, where
the persecuted and exiled Saltzburgers reared their offspring
in the hope that they would leave a numerous progeny of
44 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
pious, useful, and prosperous citizens, and where everything
seemed to betoken the establishment of a thrifty and per-
manent colony, scarcely anything is to be seen, except the
sad evidences of decay and death,"
"As the Mind of Man cannot form a more exalted
Pleasure than what arises from the Reflexion of having
relieved the Distressed; let the Man of Benevolence,
whose Substance enables him to contribute towards this
Undertaking, give a Loose for a little to his Imagination,
pass over a few Years of his Life, and think himself in
a Visit to Georgia. Let him see those, who are now a
Prey to all the Calamities • of Want, who are starving
with Hunger, and seeing their Wives and Children in the
same Distress ; expecting likewise every Moment to be
thrown into a Dungeon, with the cutting Anguish that
they leave their Families expos'd to the utmost Necessity
and Despair : Let him, I say, see these living under
a sober and orderly Government, settled in Towns, which
are rising at Distances along navigable Rivers : Flocks
and Herds in the neighbouring Pastures, and adjoining
to them Plantations of regular Rows of Mulberry-Trees,
entwin'd with Vines, the Branches of which are loaded
with Grapes ; let him see Orchards of Oranges, Pome-
granates, and Olives; in other Places extended Fields of
Corn, or Flax and Hemp. In short, the whole Face of
the Country chang'd by Agriculture, and Plenty in every
Part of it. Let him see' the People all in Employment
of various Kinds, Women and Children feeding and nurs-
46 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
ing the Silkworms, winding off the Silk, or gathering the
OUves ; the Men ploughing and planting their Lands,
tending their Cattle, or felling the Forest, which they
burn for Potashes, or square for the Builder; let him
see these in Content and Affluence, and Masters of little
Possessions which they can leave to their Children ; and
then let him think if they are not happier than those
supported by Charity in Idleness. Let him reflect that
the Produce of their Labour will be so much new
Wealth for his Country, and then let him ask himself,
Whether he would exchange the Satisfaction of having
contributed to this, for all the trifling Pleasures the
Money, which he has given, would have purchas'd.
"Of all publick-spirited Actions, perhaps none can
claim a Preference to the Settling of Colonies, as none
are in the End more useful. ^^ ^ ^ Whoever then is a
Lover of Liberty will be pleas'd with an Attempt to re-
cover his fellow Subjects from a State of Misery and
Oppression, and fix them in Happiness and Preedom.
" Whoever is a Lover of his Country will approve of a
Method for the Employment of her Poor, and the In-
crease of her People and her Trade. Whoever is a
Lover of Mankind will join his wishes to the Success
of a Design so plainly calculated for then- Good : Un-
dertaken, and conducted with so much Disinterestedness."
By such suggestions did Benjamin Martyn^ seek to
enlist the public sympathy in behalf of the then projected
but not estabhshed Colony of Georgia. ^
Mr. Oglethorpe, in a contemporaneous pubHcation,t had
* Reasons for Establisliing the Colony of Georgia witii regard to the Trade of Great
Britain, &c., pp. 38-41. London, 1733.
t A New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia, &c
assigned, among the weightiest reasons for founding the
Colony, the ample opportunity which would be afforded
in Georgia for persons reduced to poverty at home and con-
stituting a positive charge upon the Nation, to be made
happy and prosperous abroad and profitable to England.
The conversion of the Indians, the confirmation of the de-
velopment and security of Carolina, and a lucrative trade
in silk, rice, cotton, wine, indigo, grain, and lumber, were
enumerated as additional inducements to the enterprize.
On the 9th of June, 1732, his Majesty, George the
Second, by Charter, granted to the Trustees for estab-
lishing the Colony of Georgia in America and their succes-
sors, all the Lands and Territories from the most northern
stream of the Savannah river along the sea-coast to the
southward unto the most southern stream of the Alatamaha
river, and westward from the heads of the said rivers re-
spectively in direct lines to the south seas. Not only the
lands lying within these boundaries, but also all islands
within twenty leagues of the coast were, by this Royal
feoffment, conveyed "for the better support of the Colony.""^'
During the first year of the foundation of the Colony, Mr.
Oglethorpe's attention was directed to providing for the
emigrants suitable homes at Savannah, Joseph's Town,
Abercorn, and Old Ebenezer, to concluding necessary trea-
ties of cession and amity with the Natives, and the erection
of a fort on the Great Ogeechee river to command the main
passes by which the Indians had invaded Carolina during
the late wars, and afford the settlers some security against
anticipated incursions from the Spaniards. This fortified
post, — as a compliment to his honored patron John, Duke of
* See Copy of Chai'ter, McCall's History of Greorgia, Vol. i, p. 329 et seq : Savannah, 1811.
Reasons for establishing the Colony of G-eorgia, &c., p. 29. London, 1733.
A State of the Province of Georgia attested upon oath, &c., p. 1. London, 1742.
48 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGlA.
Argyle, — was called Fort Argyle, and was garrisoned by
Captain McPherson and his detachment of Rangers. At
this time no English plantations had been established south
of the Great Ogeechee river. Having confirmed the Colon-
ists in their occupation of the right bank of the Savannah,
and engaged the friendship of the venerable Indian Chief,
Tomo-chi-chi, and the neighboring Lower Creeks and
Uchees, in January, 1734, Mr. Oglethorpe set out to explore
the coast, and determine upon such settlement as appeared
most advantageous for the protection of the southern con-
fines of the Colony. During a heavy rain on the 26th of that
month, he and his party landed " on the first Albany bluff
of St. Simon's island" and "lay all night under the shelter
of a large live-oak- tree and kept themselves dry." This re-
connoissance, which was continued as far as the sea-point of
St. Simon's island, and Jekyll island, convinced Mr. Ogle-
thorpe it was expedient and necessary for the proper defence
of the Colony that a military station and settlement should
be formed, at the earliest practicable moment, near the
mouth of the Alatamaha river ; and that, as an outpost, a
strong fort should be built on St. Simon's island.
This plan was in part compassed in January, 1735, when
one hundred and thirty Highlanders, and fifty women and
children, who had been enrolled for emigration at Inverness
and its vicinity, arrived at Savannah, and, a few days after-
wards, were conveyed in periaguas to the southward. As-
cending the Alatamaha river to a point about sixteen miles
above St. Simon's island, they there landed and entered upon
a permanent settlement, which they called New Inverness.
Here they erected a fort, — mounting four pieces of cannon, —
built a guard-house, a store, and a chapel, and constructed
huts for temporary accommodation preparatory to putting
up more substantial structures. These Scots were a brave,
hardy people, — ^just the men to occupy this advanced posi-
tion. In their plaids, and with their broad-swords, targets,
and firearms, Oglethorpe says they presented " a most
Upon their arrival in Savannah some of the Carolinians
endeavored to dissuade them from going to the southward
by telling them that the Spaniards, from the houses in their
fort, would shoot them upon the spot selected by the Trus-
tees for their future home. Nothing daunted, these doughty
countrymen of Bruce and Wallace responded'"" "we will
beat them out of their fort and shall have houses ready
built to live in." This valiant spirit found subsequent ex-
pression in the effective military service rendered by these
Highlanders during the wars between the Colonists and the
Spaniards, and by their decendants in the primal struggle
for independance. To John Moore Mcintosh, Captain
Hugh MacKay, Ensign Charles MacKay, Colonel John Mc-
intosh, General Lachlan Mcintosh, and their gallant follow-
ers, Georgia, both as a Colony and a State, owes a special
debt of gratitude.
On the 5th of February, 1735, t two hundred and two
persons, upon the Trust's account, conveyed in the Symond
and the London Merchant, and conducted by Oglethorpe in
person, arrived at the mouth of the Savannah river. It was
his intention to locate all these emigrants at St. Simon's
island, but, in compliance with their earnest entreaty, such
of them as were German Lutherans were permitted to join
* See Letter of Gen'l Ogletliorpe to the Trustees under date February 27th, 1735-6. Col-
lections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. iii, p. 15. Savannah, 1873.
t A Voyage to Georgia, begun in the year 1735 by Francis Moore, p. 17. London 1744.
Compare Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. ii, p. 330. London,
An Account Showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, &c., p. 20. London, 1741,
50 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
their friends at Ebenezer. Upon leaving London it was con-
templated that the Symond and the London Merchant should
sail directly for Jekyll sound, and land their passengers at
the point where it was proposed that the new town should
be located. The timidity of the captains, however, who, in
the absence of experienced pilots, feared the dangers of an
unknown entrance, caused this deviation in the voyage.
Having engaged the services of fifty Rangers and one
hundred workmen, and having dispatched Captain McPher-
son with a part of his command to march by land to the
suppport of the Highlanders on the Alatamaha, Mr. Ogle-
thorpe who, since his arrival, had been busily occupied in
arranging matters at Savannah and Old Ebenezer, returned
to the ships which were still lying in Tybee roads. Finding
their captains unwilling to risk their ships without having
previously acquired a knowledge of the entrance into Jekyll
sound, he bought the cargo of the sloop Midnight, which had
just arrived, on condition that it should be at once delivered
at Fredrica, and with the understanding that captains Cor-
nish and Thomas should go on board of her, acquaint them-
selves with the coast and entrance, and then return and
conduct their vessels to Frederica. During their absence
these ships, — the Symond and the London Merchant, — their
cargoes still on board, — were to remain at anchor at Tybee
roads in charge of Francis Moore, who was appointed keeper
of the stores. Mr. Horton and Mr. Tanner, with thirty
single men of the Colony, and cannon, arms, ammunition
and entrenching tools, were ordered to proceed to the south-
ward with the sloop Midnight. The workmen who had been
engaged at Savannah, and Tomo-chi-chi's Indians were di-
rected to rendezvous at convenient points whence they
might be transported as occasion required. The sloop sailed
for St. Simon's island on the morning of the 16th, and at
evening of the same day Mr. Oglethorpe set out in the scout
boat to meet the sloop at Jekyll sound. Captain Hermsdorf,
two of the Colony, and some Indians went with him, and
Captain Dunbar accompanied him with his boat. They
passed through the inland channels lying between the outer
islands and the main. "Mr. Oglethorpe being in haste,"
says one of the party, "the Men rowed Night and Day,
and had no other Rest than what they got when a Snatch
of Wind favoured us. They were all very willing, though
we met with very boisterous Weather. ^ '^' ^^' The
Men vied with each other who should be forwardest to
please Mr. Oglethorpe. Indeed he lightened their Fatigue
by giving them Refreshments, which he rather spared from
himself than let them want. The Indians seeing the Men
hard laboured, desired to take the Oars, and rowed as well
as any I ever saw, only differing from the others by taking
a short and long Stroke alternately, which they called the
Yamasee Stroke." On the morning of the 18th they reached
St. Simon's island and found that the sloop had come in
ahead of, and was waiting for them. Mr. Oglethorpe at
once set all hands to work. The tall grass growing upon
the bluff at Frederica was burnt off, a booth was marked
out "to hold the stores, — digging the ground three Foot
deep, and throwing up the Earth on each Side by way of
Bank, — and a roof raised upon Crutches with Ridge-pole
and Rafters, nailing small Poles across, and thatching the
whole with Palmetto-leaves. Mr. Oglethorpe afterw^ards
laid out several Booths without digging under Ground,
which were also covered with Palmetto Leaves, to lodge
the Families of the Colony in when they should come up ;
each of these Booths was between thirty and forty Foot
52 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEORGIA.
long, and upwards of twenty Foot wide. ^ * We all
made merry that Evening, having a plentiful Meal of Game
brought in by the Indians.
" On the 19th, in the Morning, Mr. Oglethorpe began to
mark out a Fort with four Bastions, and taught the Men
how to dig the Ditch, and raise and turf the Eampart. This
Day and the following Day were spent in finishing the
Houses, and tracing out the Fort."''^
Such was the simple beginning of Frederica.f Near the -
town Mr. Oglethorpe fixed the only home he ever owned in
the Province. In its defence were enlisted his best energies,
military skill, and valor. Brave are the memories of St.
Simon's island. None prouder belong to the colonial history
Three days afterwards arrived from Savannah a periagua
with workmen, provisions, and cannon, for the new settle-
ment. Captains Cornish and Thomas returned from the
southward to Tybee roads on the 26th and, although assured
of the fact that there was ample water for the conveyance
of their vessels to Frederica, still refused to conduct the
Symond and the London Merchant to the southward. Mr.
Oglethorpe was consequently compelled to consent that theii-
cargoes should be unloaded into the " Feter and James,''
which could not carry above one hundred tons, and the rest
transferred in sloops to Savannah for safe storage until such
time as opportunity offered for conveying it to its destination.
He was also put to the great inconvenience of collecting peri-
aguasj sufiicient for the transportation of the Colonists.
* Moore's Voyage to Georgia, &c., p. 44. London, 1744.
t Named by Oglethorpe after Frederick, Prince of Wales.
t These are "long flat-bottomed boats carrying from 20 to 35 Tons. They have a kind
of a Forecastle and a Cabbin ; but the rest open, and no Deck. They have two Masts,
which they can strike, and Sails like Schooners. They row generally with two Oars only."
Much incensed at the conduct of the Captains of the
transports, and inconvenienced by the demurrage conse-
quent upon their timidity, he was also indignant at
the delay thus caused in the consummation of his plans,
annoyed at the additional charges for transfer of passengers
and cargo, and solicitous for the health of the colonists
who would be exposed in open boats, at an inclement season,
during the passage from Tybee roads to Jekyll sound.
It was not until the 2nd of March that the fleet of peria-
guas and boats, with the families of the Colonists on board,
set out from the mouth of the Savannah river. Spare oars
had been rigged for each boat. With their assistance, — the
men of the Colony rowing with a will, — the voyage to Fred-
erica was accomplished in five days. Mr. Oglethorpe accom-
panied them in his scout-boat, keeping the fleet together,
and taking the hindermost craft in tow. As an incentive to
unity of movement, he placed all the strong beer on board
one boat. The rest labored diligently to keep up ; for, if
they were not all at the place of rendezvous each night, the
tardy crew lost their ration. Frederica was reached on the
8th, and there was general joy among the colonists.
So diligently did they labor in building their town and its
fortifications, that by the 23rd of March a battery of cannon,
commanding the river, had been mounted, and the fort was
almost finished. Its ditches had been dug, although not to
the required depth or width, and a rampart raised and cov-
ered with sod. A store-house, having a front of sixty feet,
and intended to be three stories in height, was completed as
to its cellar and first story. The necessary streets were all
laid out. " The Main Street that went from the Front into
the Country was 25 yards wide. Each Free-holder had 60
Foot in Front by 90 Foot in Depth, upon the high Street,
54 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
for their House and Garden ; but those which fronted the
Eiver had but 30 Foot in Front, by 60 Foot in Depth.
Each Family had a Bower of Palmetto Leaves, finished
upon the back Street in their own Lands : The Side towards
the front Street was set out for their Houses : These Pal-
metto Bowers were very convenient Shelters, being tight in
the hardest Eains ; they were about 20 Foot long, and 14
Foot wide, and, in regular Rows, looked very pretty, the
Palmetto Leaves lying smooth and handsome, and of a good
Colour. The whole appeared something like a Camp ; for
the Bowers looked liked Tents, only being larger and cover-
ed with Palmetto Leaves instead of Canvas. There were 3
large Tents, two belonging to Mr. Ogletliorpe, and one to Mr.
Horton, pitched upon the Parade near the River."
Such is the description of the town in its infancy as fur-
nished by Mr. Moore, whose " Voyage to Georgia " is one
of the most interesting and valuable tracts we have descrip-
tive of the colonization.
That there might be no confusion in their constructive
labors, Mr. Oglethorpe divided the Colonists into working
parties. To some was assigned the duty of cutting forks,
poles, and laths for building the bowers. Others set them
up. Others still gathered palmetto leaves, while a fourth
gang, — under the superintendence of a Jew workman, bred
in Brazil and skilled in the matter, — thatched the roofs
"nimbly and in a neat manner."
Men accustomed to the agriculture of the region, in-
structed the Colonists in hoeing and planting. Potatoes,
Indian corn, flax, hempseed, barley, turnips, lucern-grass,
pumpkins, and water-melons were planted. The labor was
common and enured to the benefit of the entire community.
As it was rather too late in the season to prepare the ground
fully and get in such a crop as would promise a yield suffi-
cient to subsist the settlement for the coming year, many
of the men were put upon pay and set to work upon the
fortifications and the public buildings.
Mr. Hugh MacKay, about this time, arrived in Frederica
and reported, that with the assistance of Messrs. Augustine
and Tblme, and the guides furnished by Tomo-chi-chi, he had
surveyed and located a road, practicable for horses, between
Savannah and Darien. This information was very gratifying
to the Colonists on St. Simons, assuring them, as it did, that
their situation was not so isolated as they at first supposed.
Frederica was located in the midst of an Indian field^' con-
taining between thirty and forty acres of cleared land. The
grass in this field yielded an excellent turf which was freely
•used in sodding the parapet of the fort. The bluff upon
which it stood rose about ten feet above high-water mark,
was dry and sandy, and exhibited a level expanse of about a
mile into the interior of the island. The position of the
fort was such that it fully commanded the reaches in the
river both above and below. With their situation the Colo-
nists were delighted. The harbor was land-locked,t having
*The Aborigines cleared considerable spaces on the Sea Islands along tlie Greorgia Coast,
planting them with maize, pumpkins, gonrds, beans, melons, &c. These indications of
early agriculture were not infrequent in various portions of the State. The richest
localities were selected by the Aborigines for cultivation : their principal towns and
maize-fields being generally found in rich valleys where a generous soil yielded, with
least labor, the most remunerative harvest. The trees were killed by girdling them by
means of stone axes. They then decayed and fell piecemeal. So old were these Indian
fields that in them no traces appeared of the roots and stumps even of the most durable
trees. The occupancy of these islands by the Red race was general and of long duration.
Prominent bluffs are to this day marked by their refuse heaps, composed chiefly of the
shells of oysters, conchs, and clams, and the bones of the animals, reptiles, birds, and
fishes upon which they subsisted, intermingled with sherds of pottery, and broken
articles, and relics of various sorts. Many localities are hoary with ancient shell-mounds,
while sepulchral tumuli of earth are not infrequent. Besides the primitive population
permanently domiciled on these islands, at certain seasons of the year, large numbers of
Indians from the main here congregated and spent much time in hunting and fishing.
t An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, pp.
40 and 41. London, 1741.
56 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
a depth of twenty-two feet of water at the bar, and capable
of affording safe anchorage to a large number of ships of
considerable burden. Surrounded by beautiful forests of
live-oak, water oaks, laurel, bay, cedar, sweet-gum, sassafras,
and pines, festooned with luxuriant vines, [among which
those bearing the Fox-grape and the Muscadine were pecu-
liarly pleasing to the Colonists,] and abounding in deer,
rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, wild-turkeys, turtle-doves, red-
birds, mocking birds, and rice birds,^ with wide extended
marshes frequented by wild geese, ducks, herons, curlews,
cranes, plovers, and marsh-hens, — the adjacent waters teem-
ing with fishes, crabs, shrimps, and oysters, and the island
fanned by South-East breezes prevailing with the regularity
of the trade winds — ^the strangers were charmed with their
new home. Within their fort were enclosed and preserved
several of those grand old live-oaks which for centuries had
crowned the bluff, and whose shade was refreshing beyond
any shelter the hand of man could devise. The town
sprang into being as a military post. It was ordered and
grew day by day under the immediate supervision of Ogle-
thorpe. The soil of the island was fertile, and its health
unquestioned. Lieutenant George Dunbar, on the 20th of
January, 1739, made oath before Francis Moore, Recorder
of the Town of Frederica, that since his arrival with the
first detachment of Colonel Oglethorpe's regiment the pre-
ceding June, all the carpenters and many of the soldiers had
been continuously occupied in building clap-board huts,
carrying lumber and bricks, unloading vessels, [often work-
ing up to their necks in water,] in clearing the parade, burn-
ing wood and rubbish, making lime, and in other out-door
exercises, — the hours of labor being from daylight until
* Buffalo and quail were found on the Main.
eleven or twelve M. and from two or three o'clock in the
afternoon until dark. Despite these exposures, continues
the Affiant, "All the time the men kept so healthy that often
no man in the camp ailed in the least, and none died except
one man who came sick on board and never worked at all ;
nor did I hear that any of the men ever made the heat a
pretence for not working."*
Beyond question Frederica was the healthiest of all the
early settlements in Georgia, and St. Simon's island has
always enjoyed an enviable reputation for salubrity. Until
marred by the desolations of the late war, this island was a
favorite summer resort, and the homes of the planters were
the abodes of beauty, comfort, and refinement. A mean
temperature of about fifty degrees in winter, and not above
eighty-two degrees in summer, gardens adorned with choice
flowers, and orchards enriched with plums, peaches, necta-
rines, figs, melons, pomegranates, dates, oranges and limes, —
forests rendered majestic by the live-oak, the pine, and the
magnolia grandiflora, and redolent with the perfumes of the
bay, the cedar and the myrtle, — the air fresh and buoyant
with the South-East breezes, and vocal with the notes of
song-birds, — the adjacent sea, sound, and inlets, replete with
-fishes, — the shell roads and broad beach affording every
facility for driving and riding, — the woods and fields abound-
ing with game in their season, and the culture and generous
hospitality of the inhabitants, impressed all visitors with
the delights of this favored spot. Sir Charles Lyell, among
others, alludes with marked satisfaction to the pleasures he
* State of the Province of Georgia attested upon Oath, &c., p. 25. London, 1742.
Compare Affidavits of Lieut. Raymond Demare, Hugh MacKay, and John Cuthbert, to
An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, pp. 61,
63, 64. London, 1741.
58 THE DEAD TOWNS OF (^EOHGIA.
Among the reptiles which not only attracted the notice of,
but, to a considerable degree, upon first acquaintance, dis- •
quieted the early Colonists, the alligators were the most
noted. Listen to this description furnished by an eye- _
witness- in 1736 : "They are terrible to look at, stretching f '
open an horrible large Mouth, big enough to swallow a Man,
with Rows of dreadful large sharp Teeth, and Feet like Drag- A i
gons, armed with great Claws, and a long Tail which they
throw about with great Strength, and which seems their best
Weapon, for their Claws are feebly set on, and the Stiffness
of their Necks hinders them from turning nimbly to bite." In
order that the public mind might be disabused of the terror
which pervaded it with respect to these reptiles, Mr. Ogle-
thorpe, having wounded and caught one, had it brought
to Savannah and made the boys bait it with sticks and
finally pelt and beat it to death.
The rattle snakes, too, were objects of special dread.
Leaving his people busily occupied with the labors as-
signed to them at Frederica, Mr, Oglethorpe set out on the
18th of Marclit for the frontiers, "to see where his Majesty's
Dominions and the Spaniards joyn.":|: He was accompanied
by " Toma-Chi-Chi, Mico, and a Body of Indians, who, tho'
but few, being not forty, were all chosen Warriors and good
Hunters." They were conveyed in two Scout Boats, and
the next day were joined by the periagua, commanded by
Captain Hugh MacKay, with thirty Highlanders, ten men of
the Independent Company, and entrenching tools and provi-
sions on board. Upon the north-western point of Cumber-
* Francis Moore, Voyage to Georgia, &c., p. 57. London, 1744.
t Moore says April. See A Voyage to Georgia, p. 63. London, 1744.
t Oglethorpe's letter to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iir, p. 28. Savannah, 1873.
land island* washed by the bay on the one side, and on the
other by the channel running to the southward, Oglethorpe
marked out a fort, called it St. Andrews, and left Captain
MacKay with his command to build it, and some Indians to
hunt and shoot for them while thus employed.
Proceeding on his voyage, Mr. Oglethorpe named the next
large Island to the South, Amelia, t — " it being a beautiful
Island, and the Sea-shore cover' d with Myrtle, Peach-Trees,
Orange-Trees, and Vines in the wild Woods." Tomo-chi-chi
conducted him to the mouth of the St. Johns, pointed
out the advanced post occupied by the Spanish Guard, and
indicated the dividing line. It was with difficulty that the
old chief and his followers could be restrained from making
a night attack upon the Spaniards, upon whom they thirsted
to take revenge for the killing of some Indians during the
Mico's absence in England. Stopping at fort St. Andrews
on his way back, Oglethorpe was surprised to find the work
in such a state of " forwardness, — the Ditch being dug, and
the Parapet raised with Wood and Earth on the Land-side,
and the small Wood clear'd fifty yards round the Fort."
This seemed the more extraordinary, adds Francis Moore,
because Mr. MacKay had no engineer, or any assistance
other than the directions which Mr. Oglethorpe gave. The
ground consisting of loose sand, it was a difficult matter to
construct the parapets : " therefore they used the same
Method to support it as Cyesar mentions in the Wars of
Gaul, laying Trees and Earth alternately, the Trees prevent-
* This island was named Wiasoo by the Indians, signifjang Sassafras. It was called
Cumberland in memory of his Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland, at the sugges-
tion of Toonahowi,— nephew of Tomo-chi-chi,— to whom, during his visit to England, the
Duke had given a gold repeating watch, that he "might know how the time went."
" We will remember him at all times," said Toonahowi, "and therefore will give this
Island this name."
t Called by the Spaniards Santa Maria.
60 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
ing the Sand from falling, and the Sand the Wood fi^om
Upon their return to Frederica the Indians encamped
near the town, and, on the 26th, favored Mr. Oglethorpe and
all the people with a War Dance. " They made a King,
in the middle of which four sat down, having little Drums
made of Kettles, cover'd wdth Deer-skins, upon which they
beat and sung : Round them the others danced, being naked
to their Waists, and round their Middles many Trinkets tied
with Skins, and some with the Tails of Beasts hanging down
behind them. They painted their Faces and Bodies, and
their Hair was stuck with Feathers : In one Hand they had
a Rattle, in the other Hand the Feathers of an Eagle, made
up like the Caduceus of Mercury : They shook these Wings
and the Rattle, and danced round the Ring with high
Bounds and antick Postures, looking much like the Figures
of the Satyrs.
" They shew'd great Activity, and kept just Time in their
Motions ; and at certain times answer'd by way of Chorus,
to those that sat in the Middle of the Ring. They stopt,
and then stood out one of the chief Warriors, who sung
what Wars he had been in, and described (by Actions as well
as by Words) which way he had vanquish'd the Enemies of
his Country. When he had done, all the rest gave a Shout
of Approbation, as knowing what he said to be true. The
next Day Mr. Oglethorpe -gave Presents to Toma-chi-chi and
his Indians, and dismiss' d them with Thanks for their
Fidelity to the King."*
For the further protection of the approaches to Frederica
by the inland passages, a strong battery, — called Fort St.
Simons, — was erected at the south end of St. Simons' island.
= Moore's Voyage to Georgia, p. 71. London^ 1744,
It was designed to command the entrance to Jekyll sound,
xldjacent to it was laid out a camp containing barracks and
liuts for the soldiers. At the southern extremity of Cumber-
land island Fort William was afterwards built with a view
to controlling AmeHa sound and the inland passage to St.
Augustine. Upon San Juan island to the south, and near
the entrance of the St. Johns river, Oglethorpe had observed
the traces of an old fort. Thither he sent Captain Herms-
dorf, and a detachment of Highlanders, with instructions to
repair and occupy it. Having ascertained that this island
was included in the cession of lands made by the Indians to
his Majesty, he named the island George, and called the
fortification fort St. George. With the exception of one or
two posts of observation, this constituted the most southern
defense of the Colony, and was regarded as an important
position for holding the Spaniards in check, and for giving
the earliest intelligence of any hostile demonstration on
their part.^ The energy and boldness displayed by the Com-
mander in Chief in developing his line of occupation so far to
the south, and in the very teeth of the Spaniards in Florida,
are quite remarkable, and indicate on his part not only a
daring bordering upon rashness, but also no little confidence
in the courage and firmness of the small garrisons detailed
to fortify and hold these advanced and isolated positions.
Returning to Frederica from this tour of observation, Mr.
Oglethorpe found the workmen busily occupied in construct-
ing the fort, whose outer works were being " palisaded with
Cedar Posts to prevent our Enemies turning up the green
Sod." Upon the bastions, platforms of two inch plank were
*0n the South-west side of Cumberland island, and upon a high neck of land command-
ing the water approaches each way, Fort St. Andrews was subsequently built. " Its
walls were of wood, filled in with earth. Round about were a ditch and a palisade. "t
t Wesley's Joixrnal, p. 61, Bristol, n. d.
62 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
laid for the cannon. A piece of marsh lying below the fort
was converted into a water battery, called "the Spnr," the
guns of which, — being on a level with the water, — were
admirably located for direct and effective operation against
all vessels either ascend.ing or descending the river.
A well was dug within the fort which yielded an abundant
supply of "tolerable good water." The people having no
bread, and the store of biscuits being needed for the crews
of the boats which were kept constantly moving from point
to point, an oven was built, and an indented servant, — a
baker by trade, — was detailed to bake bread for the Colony.
For the floifi' furnished by each individual an equal weight
was returned in bread, "the difference made by the water and
salt" being the baker's gain. This fresh bread, in the lan-
guage of one who partook of it, was a great comfort to the
people. Venison brought in by the Indians was frequently
issued in lieu of salt provisions ; and poultry, hogs, and sheep
were occasionally killed for the sick. Such domestic animals,
however, were, at that early period, so scarce in the settle-
ment, that they were carefully guarded for the purpose of
breeding. A little later, live stock came forward in abund-
ance, by boats from Port Royal and Savannah.
Grave apprehensions were entertained of an attack from
the Spaniards, and Mr. Oglethorpe was untiring in his efforts
to place the southern frontier in the best possible state of
defense. It is remarkable how much was accompHshed
under the circumstances. His energy was boundless, his
watchfulness unceasing. Scout boats were constantly on
duty observing the water approaches fi'om the south as far
as the mouth of the St. Johns. Indian runners narrowly
watched the walls of St. Augustine, and conveyed intelligence
of every movement by the eneuiy. Look-outs were main-
tained at all necessary points to give warning of threatened
danger. Mr. Bryan and Mr. Barnwell promised, in case
Frederica or its out-posts were attacked, to come to their
support with a strong body of volunteers from Carolina.
Chiefs of the Cheehaws and the Ci"eeks volunteered their
Acting upon the belief that it was better to confront the
Spaniards upon the confines of the Colony than abide the
event of their invasion, volunteers came in such numbers
from Carolina and Georgia that General Oglethorpe was
compelled to issue orders that all who had plantations
should remain at home and cultivate them until actually
summoned to arms.
Hearing a report that the Spaniards were intent upon
dislodging the settlers from Frederica, Ensign Delegal,
taking thirty men of the Independent Company under his
command, and rowing night and day, reached Frederica on
the 10th of May and tendered his services. Without per-
mitting them to land, Oglethorpe ordered English strong
beer and pro\dsions on board, sent a present of wine to
Ensign Delegal, and, upon the same tide, in his scout boat
conducted the party to the east point of St. Simons island
where it is washed by Jekyll sound, and there posted the
company, locating a spot for constructing a fort, and com-
manding a well to be dug. By the 16th, Ensign Delegal had
succeeded m casting up a considerable entrenchment and in
mounting several cannon.
This post,— strengthened on the 8th of June by the arrival
of Lieutenant Delegal, with the rest of the Independent
Company and thii'teen pieces of cannon belonging to them, — -
was subsequently known as Delegal's Fort at the Sea-point.
The workmen at Frederica were diligently employed in
64 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKOIA.
building a powder magazine under one of the bastions of
the fort. It was made of heavy timber covered with several
feet of earth. The construction of a large store-house, a
smith's forge, a wheelwright's shop, and a corn-house also
engaged their attention. The men capable of bearing arms
were trained in military exercises each day by Mr. Mcintosh.
The Colonists were in a state of constant alarm, and every-
thing was made subservient to the general defense. Even .
the feeble avowed their willingness to sacrifice their lives in f
protecting their new homes. Inspired by the intrepidity
and vigilance, the fearlessness and the activity of the Gen-
eral, — who was constantly on the move, visiting the advanced
works, pressing his reconnoissances even within the enemy's
lines, and making every available disposition of men and
munitions which could conduce to the common safety, —
soldiers and citizens kept brave hearts, labored incessantly
and cheerfully, observed a sleepless watch upon the sea and
its inlets, and stood prepared to offer stout resistance to the
Spaniard. It was a manly sight, that little colony fearlessly
planting itself upon island and headland, separated from
all substantial support, and yet extending itself on land and
water to the very verge of hostile hues held by an enemy
greatly superior in men and the appliances of warfare.
This state of uncertainty and alarm continued along the
southern frontier of Georgia until, by conference between
Mr. Oglethorpe and the Spanish Commissioners in Jekyll
sound on the 19th of June, there occurred an amicable
adjustment of pending disputes. The healths of the King
and Koyal Family of Great Britain, and of the King and
Queen of Spain, were drank amid salvos of artillery from
the sloop Hawk and the Sea-Point Battery ; and when the
Spaniards set out on the 2*2d to return to St. Augustine, they
FREDERIC A. 65
expressed themselves pleased with their reception and
amicably inclined towards the Colony and its knightly
General. This period of tranquility was of but short dura-
tion. In the fall of the year a peremptory demand was
made by the Spanish Government for the evacuation by the
English of all territory lying south of St. Helena's sound.
Perceiving that vigorous measures and a stronger force
were requisite for the preservation of the Colony, and
yielding to the solicitations of the Trustees that he should be
present at the approaching meeting of Parliament to in-
fluence larger supplies for Georgia, Mr. Oglethorpe, having
made the best possible arrangements for the government
and protection of the province during his absence, embarked
for England on the 29th of November, 1736.^'
During his absence in England, nothing of special moment
transpired on the southern frontiers. Mr. Horton appears
to have been left in general charge of the defenses in that
quarter. He established himself at Erederica, whence he
made frequent tours of inspection to its out-posts and de-
pendent works. Of a visit which he paid to the town early
in February, 1737, Mr. Stephens, Secretary of the Colony,
gives us rather a stupid account,t from which we gather that
the inhabitants were living "in perfect Peace and Quiet,
without Fear of any Disturbance from Abroad, and without
any Strife or Contention at Law at Home, where they
sometimes opened a Court, but very rarely. had any Thing to
do in it." Only slight improvements had been made during
the preceding year in clearing and cultivating land, because
of the constant apprehension of incursion by the Spaniards,
* See Wright's Memoir of Gen'l James Oglethorpe, p. 167. London, 1867.
t See A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, &c., vol. i, p. 98. London, 1742.
Q6 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
and the amount of military service the able-bodied men
were obliged to perform.
Moved by the indications of hostility on the part of the
Spaniards, and yielding to the entreaties of the Trustees"
that additional troops be provided for the protection of the
Colony, his Majesty, in June, 1737, appointed Oglethorpe
General of all forces in Carolina as well as in Georgia, and
authorized him to raise a regiment. In October of that year,
and before his regiment had been fully recruited, he was
commissioned as Colonel. The relief of Georgia being re-
garded as important, a body of troops was sent thither from 1
Gibraltar, which reached Savannah early in May, 1738, and
was transferred from that point to the South for the defense
of the frontiers. The famous clergyman George Whitefield,
detailed to take Mr. Wesley's place in the Colony, was a
passenger on board the ship in which these soldiers were
transported. About the same time two or three companies
of the General's own regiment, under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel James Cochrane, arrived in Charleston,
and were marched southward by the road which ran from
Port Royal to Darien.f Oglethorpe's regiment was limited
to six companies of one hundred men each, exclusive of non-
commissioned officers and drummers. To it a grenadier
company was subsequently attached. Disdaining to " make
a market of the service of his country " by selling commis-
sions, the General secured the appointment, as officers, only
of such persons as were gentlemen of family and character in
their respective counties. He also engaged about twenty
young gentlemen of no fortune to serve as cadets. These
he subsequently promoted as vacancies occurred. So far
* See one of the Memorials of tlie Trustees in ''An Account Shewing tlie Progress of the
Colony of G-eorgia," &c., p. 58. ' London, 1741.
t See Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 191. London, 1867.
from deriving any pecuniary benefit from these appoint-
ments, the General, in some cases, from his private fortune
advanced the fees requisite to procure commissions, and
provided moneys for the purchase of uniforms and clothing.
xlt his own expense he engaged the services of forty super-
numeraries, — "a circumstance," says a contemporaneous
writer, "very extraordinary in our armies, especially in our
In order to engender in the hearts of the enlisted men
an interest in and an attachment for the Colony they were
designed to defend, and with a view to induce them even-
tually to become settlers, permission was granted to each to
take a wife with him. For the support of the wife, addi-
tional pay and rations were provided."'^ So carefully was
this regiment recruited and officered, that it constituted one
of the best military organizations in the service of the King.
Sailing from Portsmouth on the 5th of July, 1738, with
the rest of his regiment, — numbering, with the women,
children, and supernumeraries who accompanied, between
six and seven hundred souls, — in five transports convoyed
by the men of war Blandford and Hector, General Ogle-
thorpe iirrived safely in Jekyll sound on the 18th of the
following September. t The next day the troops were landed
at the Soldiers Fort, on the south end of St. Simon's island*
This arrival was welcomed by an artillery salute from the
battery, and by shouts from the garrison. Upon coming
within soundings off the Georgia coast on the 13th, Sir
Yelverton Peyton, in the Hector, parted company and sailed
for Virginia. Until the 21st, the General encamped near the
* See Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 188, 189. Boston, 1841.
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 191. London, 1867.
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. viii, p. 164.
t Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, vol. i, pp. 294, 295. London, 1742.
68 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Fort, superintending the clisembarcation and issuing neces-
sary orders. His regiment was now concentrated, and every
officer is represented to liave been at liis post.
Frederica was visited on the 21st, and there Oglethorpe
was saluted with fifteen guns from the fort. The Magis-
trates and towns-people waited upon him in a body, tender-
ing their congratulations upon his return. Several Indians
were present who assured him that the Upper and Lower
Creeks were in readiness to come and see him so soon as
they should be notified of his presence.^- In a letter t to Sir
Joseph Jekyll, under date 19th September, 1738, General
Oglethorpe, alluding to the fact that the Spaniards, although
having fifteen hundred men at St. Augustine, — there being
nothing but the mihtia in Georgia, — had delayed their con-
templated attack until the arrival of the Regular Troops,
acknowledges that God had thus given " the greatest marks
of his visible Protection to the Colony." He advises Sir
Joseph that the passage had been fine,— but one soldier
having died, — and that the inhabitants who had hitherto
been so harrassed by Spanish threats were now cheerful, be-
lieving that the worst was over, and that, — relieved from the
constant guard duty which they had been compelled to per-
form, some times two days out of five, to the neglect of their
crops and improvements, — they might now prosecute their
labors and make comfortable provision for the future. Ee-
ahzing the necessity of opening direct communication be-
tween Frederica and the Soldiers Fort at the south end of
the island, on the 25th General Oglethorpe set eYerj male to
wOrk cutting a road to connect those points. So energeti-
cally was the labor prosecuted, that although the woods
* Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1739, p. 22.
t Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. in, p. 48. Savannah., 1873.
were thick and the distance nearly six miles, the task was
compassed in three days.
To the Honorable Thomas Spalding^ are we indebted for
the following description of this important avenue of com-
munication: "This road after passing out of the town of
Frederica in a south-east direction, entered a beautiful
prairie of a mile over, when it penetrated a dense, close oak
wood ; keeping the same course for two miles, it passed to
the eastern marsh that bounded St. Simon's seaward. Along
this marsh, being dry and hard, no road was necessary, and
none was made. This natural highway was bounded on the
east by rivers and creeks and impracticable marshes ; it was
bounded on the west, (the island side) by a thick wood
covered with palmetto and vines of every character so as to
be impracticable for any body of men, and could only be
traveled singly and alone. This winding way along the
marsh was continued for two miles, when it again passed up
to the high land which had become open and clear, and from
thence it proceeded in a direct line to the fort, at the sea
entrance, around which, for two hundred acres, five acre
allotments of land for the soldiers had been laid out, cleared,
and improved. I have again been thus particular in my
description, because it was to the manner in which this road
Avas laid out and executed, that General Oglethorpe owed the
preservation of the fort and town of Frederica. ^ ^ ^'
His fort and batteries at Frederica were so situated as to
water approaches, and so covered by a wood, that no num-
ber of ships could injure them. And he now planned his
land route in such a manner, that again the dense wood of
our eastern islands became a rampart mighty to save. And
I* Sketch of the Life of General James Oglethorpe. Collections of the G-eorgia Histori-
cal Society, vol. i, p 261. Savannah, 1840.
70 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
fifty Highlanders and four Indians occupying these woods
We learn from that admirable " History of the Rise, Pro-
gress, and Present State of the Colony of ^Georgia," con-
tained in Dr. Harris' Complete Collections of Yoyages and
Travels,"' that "on the arrival of the Regiment of which Mr.
Oglethorpe was appointed Colonel, he distributed them in the
properest manner for the Service of the Colony ; but not-
withstanding this was of great Ease to the Trustees, and a
vast Security to the Inhabitants, yet Colonel Oglethorpe still
kept up the same Discipline, and took as much Care to form
and regulate the Inhabitants with respect to militarj^ Affairs
as ever. He provided likewise different Corps for different
Services ; some for ranging the Woods ; others, light armed, f
for sudden Expeditions ; and he likewise provided Vessels
for scouring the Sea Coasts, and for gaining Intelligence.
In all which Services he gave at the same time his Orders
and his Example ; there being nothing he did not which he
directed others to do ; so that if he was the first Man in the
Colony, his Pre-eminence was founded upon old Homer's
Maxims : He was the most fatigued, and the first in Danger,
distinguished by his Cares and his Labours, not by any
exterior Marks of Grandeur, more easily dispensed with,
since they were certainly needless."
The finances of the Trust being in a depressed condition,
the General drew largely upon his private fortune and
pledged his individual credit in conducting the operations
necessary for the security of the southern frontiers and in
provisioning the settlers. To Alderman Heathcote he
writes: "I am here" [at Frederica] "in one of the most
dehghtful situations as any man could wish to be. A
* Vol. II, p. o32. Loudon, 1748.
FREDERIC A. 71
great number of Debts, empty magazines, no money to
supply them, numbers of people to be fed, mutinous soldiers
to command, a Spanish Claim and a large body of their
Troops not far from us. But as we are of the same kind of
spirit, these Difficulties have the same effect upon me, as
those you met with in the City, had upon you. They rather
animate than daunt me."'^
Again, on the 16th of November, 1739, he advises the
Trustees :t "I am fortifying the Town of Frederica' <fe hope
I shall be repaid the Expences ; from whom I do not know,
yet I could not think of leaving a number of good houses
and Merch'ts Goods and, which was more valuable, the
Lives of Men, Women and Children in an open Town at the
mercy of every Party, and the Inhabitants obliged either to
fly to a Fort and leave their Effects, or suffer with them."
That the Trustees might be fully informed of the condi-
tion and needs of the Province, Mr. Horton, — who com-
manded the Southern Division during Oglethorpe's ab-
sence, — was sent to London about the close of the year
1739. The letter J of advice which he bore, contains an
interesting account of the affairs of the Colony. In it Gen-
eral Oglethorpe states that his Regiment of Foot being
unable to perform garrison duty and undertake the requisite
marches on the main to overtake Indians and horsemen, he
had been compelled to associate Indian allies whom he had
armed, supplied with ammunition, fed, and clothed, in con-
sideration of their services. Sixty Rangers, to act as scouts,
had been recruited and mounted. By means of his boats,
and the Colony Periagua, — which had been fitted out with
four guns and a crew of forty men, — he had succeeded in
* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii, p. 62. Savannah, 1873.
tldem, p. 94.
+ See Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. in, pp. 97, 101. Savannah, 1873.
72 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEORGIA.
driving the Spaniards out of tlie mouth of the St. Johns
river. The forts having been originally built of earth and
hastily constructed, had fallen sadly out of repair. To
place them in proper condition was then his earnest en-
deavor. "Upon the Hostilities being committed," so runs
the letter, "I thought I should be answerable for the blood
of these people before God and man if I had left them open
to be surprised by Spanish Indians, and murdered in the
iiight and their houses burnt, and if I did not take all proper
means for their defence, they being' under my charge."
With this end in view, he resolved to enclose the town of
Frederica with fortifications. Thi« defensive work is thus
described : " It is half an Hexagon with two Bastions, and
two half Bastions and Towers, after Monsieur Vauban's
method, upon the point of each Bastion. The Walls are of
earth faced with Timber, 10 foot High in the lowest place,
and in the highest 13, and the Timbers from eight inches to
twelve inches thick. There is a wet Ditch 10 foot wide, and
so laid out that if we had an allowance for it, I can by
widening the Ditch double the thickness of the Wall and
make a covered way. I hope in three months it will be
entirely finished, and in that time not only to fortify here
but to repair the Forts on A^melia and Saint Andrews. The
Expence of these small above mentioned Works, which is all
that I can now make, will not be great. Frederica will come
within £500, St. Andrews £400, and AmeHa £100."-
In the midst of his multifarious engagements and per-
plexities, in which General Oglethorpe exhibited the highest
executive ability, and an activity and self abnegation worthy
of all admiration, he was embarrassed by treachery within
* Compare Harris' Complete- Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ii, p. 337. London,
his camp which well nigh eventuated in the most serious
consequences. A plan, — set on foot by one of the soldiers
who had been in the Spanish service, — to murder the officers
and escape to the enemy with such plunder as could be
secured, was discovered in time to prevent its execution.
The ring- leaders were tried, convicted, whipped, and drum-
med out of the regiment.
Early in November, 1738, General Oglethorpe took up his
temporary quarters at Fort St. Andrew, on Cumberland
island, that he might personally superintend and encourage
the construction of the military defenses which were being
there erected. This island was then garrisoned by the com-
panies which had been detailed from Gibraltar. In addition
to their pay these troops, for a limited period after their
arrival in Georgia, had been allowed extra provisions from
the King's store. When, in November, these rations were
discontinued, conceiving themselves wronged and defrauded
of their rights, the men became dissatisfied. As the General
was conversing at the door of his hut with Captain MacKay,
a turbulent fellow had the temerity to come up unannounced
and demand a renewal of the allowance. Oglethorpe replied
that the terms of enlistment had been fully complied with :
and that if he desired any favor at his hand such rude and
disrespectful behavior was not calculated to secure a favor-
able consideration of his application. The fellow thereupon
became outrageously insolent. Captain MacKay drew his
sword, which the desperado wrested from him, broke in half,
and, having thrown the hilt at that officer's head, rushed
away to the barracks. There snatching up a loaded gun
and crying aloud "One and All," he ran back, followed by
five or more of the conspirators, and fired at the General.
Being only a few paces distant, the ball whizzed close by
74 THE DEA.D TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Oglethorpe's ear, while the powder scorched his face and
singed his clothes. Another soldier presented his piece and
attempted to discharge it. Fortunately it missed fire. A
third drew his hanger and endeavored to stab the General,
who, however, having by this time unsheathed his sword,
parried the thrust. An officer coming up ran the ruffian
through the body. Frustrated in their attempt at assassina- ■
tion, the mutineers sought safety in flight, but were appre-
hended and put in irons. After trial by court martial the
ring-leaders were found guilty and shot.^
Thus wonderfully was the General preserved for the
important trusts committed to his care, and so narrowly
was a calamity averted which would have plunged the
Colony into the depths of uncertainty and peril. Had
she been deprived, at this trying moment, of Oglethorpe's
guidance, Georgia, feeble and uncertain, would have been
left well-nigh naked to her enemies.
Spanish emissaries from St. Augustine endeavored to
inaugurate an insurrection among the negroes of South
Carolina. To them freedom and protection were prom-
ised. Every inducement was offered which could encour-
age not onl}^ desertion from, but also massacre of theii*
owners. Of the run-away slaves the Governor of Florida
had formed a regiment, appointing officers from among
them, and placing both officers and enlisted men upon
the pay and rations allowed to the regular Spanish
soldiers. Of this fact the Carolina negroes were ad-
* Compare Grentleman's Magazine, vol. ix, pp. 214, 215.
Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, vol.i, p. 326. London, 1742.
McCairs History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 124, 125. Savannah, 1811.
Hewitt's Historical Account of, the Eise and Progress of the Colonies of
South Carolina and Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 70, 71. London, 1779.
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. r, pp. 154, 155. New York, 1847.
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, pp. 204, 205, London, 18G7.
Harris' Biographical Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 194, 195, 369. Boston, 1841.
vised.* Tlie pernicious influence of such tampering with
this servile population may be more readily conjectured
than described. Thus did Spain grow daily more and
more offensive in the development of her plans for the
destruction of the English Colonies adjacent to her
possessions in Florida. To the vigilance of Oglethorpe
is Carolina largely indebted for her escape from the
horrors of a servile insurrection, t
By his personal interview with the Indians at Coweta
town, Oglethorpe had secured the good will of the
Creeks, the Cousees, the Tallapousees, the Cowetas, the
Choctaws and the Chickesas, thus thwarting the machi-
nations of the Spanish and French, and relieving the
Colony from apprehensions of a most serious character.
His energies were all directed to a careful preparation
to meet the Spanish storm which was gathering and
almost ready to burst upon the southern frontier of the
Province. Referring to this perilous and protracted jour-
ney performed by General Oglethorpe to propitiate these
Indian tribes and secure from them pledges whose ob-
servance was essential to the continuance of the Colony,
Mr. Spaldingt justly remarks, "When we call into re-
membrance the then force of these tribes, — for they
could have brought into the field twenty thousand fight-
ing men, — when we call to remembrance the influence
the French had everywhere else obtained over the In-
dians, — when we call to remembrance the distance he
had to travel through solitary pathways from Frederica,
* See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i., pp. 125, 126. Savannah, 1811.
t Hewitt's Account of the Kise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and
Georgia, vol. ir., pp. 72-74. London, 1779.
t Sketch of the Life of General James Oglethorpe. Collections of the Georgia Historical
Society, vol. i, p. 263. Savannah, 1840.
76 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
exposed to summer suns, night dews, and to tlie treachery
of any single Indian who knew, and every Indian knew,
the rich reward that would have awaited him for the
act from the Spaniards in St. Augustine or the French
in Mobile ; surely we may proudly ask what soldier ever
gave higher proof of courage? "What gentleman ever gave
greater evidence of magnanimity ? What English gov- i
ernor of an American province ever gave such assur-
ance of de6p devotion to public duty?"
But for this manly conference with the Red men in
the heart of their own country, and the admiration
with which his presence, courage, and bearing inspired
the assembled Chiefs, Oglethorpe could not have com-
passed the pacification and secured that treaty of amity
so essential to the welfare of the Colony now on the
eve of most serious difficulties with the Spaniards in
On the 5th of October, 1739, at his little town four
miles from Savannah, the venerable Tomo-chi-chi, — Ogle-
thorpe's earliest and best friend among the Indians, —
yielding to the effects of a lingering illness, died at the
advanced age of ninety-seven years. The General acted
as one of the pall-bearers, and the body of the old
Chief, in accordance with his wish, was interred, with
becoming honors, in one of the public squares in Sa-
vannah. In his last moments he expressed no little
concern that he was about to be taken away at a time
when his services might prove of special value to his
friends, the English, against the Spaniards, and coun-
seled his people never to forget the favors he had
received, when in England, from the King, and to per-
severe in their amicable relations with the colonists.*
These injunctions were not unheeded. Toonahowi — the
favorite nephew of the aged Mico — accompanied General
Oglethorpe in his expedition against St. Augustine ; and
again, leading a party of Creek Indians, brought off
from the very walls of that city Don Eomualdo Euiz
del Moral, lieutenant of Spanish horse and nephew to
the late governor of Florida, and delivered him a pris-
oner to Oglethorpe. During the memorable and success-
ful resistance maintained when St. Simon's island was
attacked by the Spaniards in 1742, this brave Indian,
illustrating the valor, personal courage, and friendship
which characterized his distinguished uncle, remained
firm in his attachment to the colonists and rendered
valuable military service. On the 7th of July, although
wounded in the right arm by Captain Mageleto, he
drew his pistol with the left, and shot the Captain dead
on the spot. This brave warrior and faithful ally was
finally killed in 1743, at Lake di Papa, while valiantly
fighting for the English against the Yemasee Indians.t
The disputes existing between England and Spain cul-
minated in a declaration of war in October, 1739. On
the 15tli of November intelligence was brought to Frede-
rica that a party of Spaniards had recently landed on
Amelia island in the night, and, concealing themselves
in the woods, had, on the ensuing morning, shot two
*See Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, etc., vol. ii., p. 153. London, 1742.
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. x., p. 129.
Historical Sketch of Tomo-chi-chi, C. C. Jones, Jr., p. 120, et seq. Albany, 1868.
For the precise location of Tomo-chi-chi's grave, see Plan of the City of Savannah
and its Fortifications by John Gerar William DeBrahm, History of the Province of Geor-
gia, etc., p. 36. Wormsloe, 1849.
tSee Jones' Historical Sketch of Tomo-chi-chi, pp. 107, 108. Albany, 1868.
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xii, p. 497.
Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 256, 257. Boston, 1841.
78 THE DEAD TO^Ts^S OE GEORGIA.
unarmed Higlilanders who were in quest of fuel, and
then, in the most inhuman manner, hacked their bodies
mth their swords. Francis Brooks, — commanding the
scout-boat, — heard the firing and gave the alarm to the
fort, which was garrisoned by a detachment from Ogle-
thorpe's regiment. Although pursued, the enemy escaped,
leaving behind them the proofs of their inhuman butch-
ery.^ Informed of the outrage, Oglethorpe manned a
gunboat and followed in the hope of overtaking the
party. The effort proved futile, and the General, by
way of retaliation, passing up the St. Johns drove in
the guards of Spanish horse posted on that river, and
detached Captain Dunbar to ascertain the location and
force of the enemy's fort at Picolata. This incursion
was followed by another in January, which resulted in
the capture of Forts Picolata and St. Francis, the gar-
risons being made prisoners of war. In the assault
upon the latter work General Oglethorpe narrowly es-
caped death fi'om a cannon shot.t
Chafing under these repeated annoyances experienced
at the hands of the Spaniards, advised that the garri-
son at St. Augustine was suffering for lack of provisions,
and ascertaining that the gallej^s having been sent to
Havana for reinforcements and supplies, the St. Johns
river and the Florida coast were in a comparatively
defenseless condition, the General deemed it a fitting
* In tlie account of this transaction contained in' the Gentleman's Magazine lor 1740,
(volume X, page 129,) it is stated that after they were shot, the heads of these two High-
landers were cut off and their bodies cruelly mangled by the enemy. The perpetrators
of this outrage consisted of Spaniards, negroes, and Indians. See Letter of General Ogle-
thorpe to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, dated November 16th, 1739.
" The Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 50, 51. London, 1743.
tFor full details of these incursions see letter of Gen. Oglethorpe to Col. Stephens,
dated Frederica, 1st February, 1740.
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii., pp. 105-108, Savannah, 1873.
opportunity to attempt the reduction of St. Augustine
and the expulsion of the Spaniards from Florida. Ad-
miral Yernon was instructed to assume the offensive
against the Spanish possessions in the West Indies, while
General Oglethorpe should conduct all available forces
against the seat of their dominion in Florida. The as-
sistance of Carolina was urgently invoked, but the au-
thorities at first would not acquiesce in the feasibility
of the enterprise."^ A rapid movement being regarded
essential to success, General Oglethorpe repaired to
Charleston to urge early and potent co-operation. As a
result of the conference which there ensued, the Legis-
lature, by an act passed April 5th, 1740, agreed to
contribute a regiment of five hundred men to be com-
manded by Colonel Vanderdussen, a troop of Rangers,
presents for the Indians, and three months' provisions.
A large schooner, — conveying ten carriages and sixteen
swivel guns, and fifty men under the command of Cap-
tain Tyrrell, — was also furnished for the expedition. Com-
*In a letter dated Frederica, December 29th, 1739, General Oglethorpe explained to the
Carolina authorities his designs against St. Augustine, and the assistance he desired to re-
ceive from that Province. A requisition was therein made for twelve 18-pounder guns with
two hundred rounds of ammunition for each piece, one mortar with proper complement of
powder and bombs, eight hundred pioneers, either negroes or white men, and the requi-
site tools "such as spades, hoes, axes, and hatchets to dig trenches, make gabelines, and
fascines." Vessels and boats sufficient to transport the artillery, men, and j)rovisions,
and six thousand bushels of corn or rice to feed the thousand Indians who were to unite
in the expedition, were also demanded. He also desired that as many horsemen as coiild
be collected, should, under the guidance of Mr. McPherson or Mr. Jones, cross the Savannah
and rendezvous at the ferry on the '• Alata" river, from which point they would be con-
ducted into "Spanish Florida." It was suggested that fifty good horsemen might be raised
at "Purrisburg," and that four months' provisions for foiir himdred men of his regiment
should be contributed, and also boats sufficient td transport them. Of artillery on hand
the General reported thirty-six coehorns and about eighteen hundred shells. In addition
to the four hundred men drawn from his regiment, and the Indians whom he had en-
gaged, he expected to be able to arm and utilize for the expedition about two hundred
men of the Georgia Colony, if arrangements could be made for paying and feeding them.
For this letter in full, see Harris" Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ir,
pp. 338, 339. London, 1748.
See also " The Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 52-57. London, 1743.
80 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEOBGIA.
modore Yincent Price, with a small fleet, pledged his
On the first of April General Oglethorpe published a
manifesto, in which, recognizing Alexander Yanderdnssen,
Esq., as Colonel of the Carolina regiment, he empowered
him for the space of four months to hold regimental court
martials for the trial of all offenders. At the expiration
of that period all connected with that regiment were to
be suffered to return to their homes. To the naval forces
uniting in the expedition a full share of all plunder was
guaranteed. To the maimed and wounded, and to the
widows and orphans of such as might perish in the service,
was promised whatever share of the spoils should fall
to the lot of the General in Chief. Indian enemies, if taken
captive, were to be treated as prisoners of war, and not
The mouth of the St. Johns was designated as the point
Kunners were sent from the Uchee town to the Indian
alHes to inform them of the contemplated demonstration
against St. Augustine, and to request a junction of their
forces at Frederica at the earUest moment. This done,
the General returned at once to St. Simons island where
he devoted himself to equipping his forces and collecting
the requisite munitions of war.
Anticipating the concentration of his forces, and wishing
to reduce the posts through which the enemy derived
supplies from the country. General Oglethorpe, with four
hundred men of his own regiment and a considerable force
of Indians led by Molochi, — son of Prim, the late Chief
of the Creeks, — Raven, war chief of the Cherokees, and
See Harris' Memorials of Ogletliorpe, pp. 378, 380. Boston, 1841.
Toonahowi, nephew of Tomo-clii-clii, on tlie 9tli of May
passed over into Florida, and within a week succeeded in
capturing Fort Francis de Papa^^ seventeen miles north
of St. Augustine, and Fort Diegof situated on the plains
twenty-five miles from St Augustine. The latter work was
defended by eleven guns and fifty regulars, besides Indians
and negroes. Leaving Lieutenant Dunbar and sixty men
to hold this post, the General returned with the rest of his
command to the place of rendezvous where, on the 19th
of May, he was joined by Captain Mcintosh with a company
of Highlanders, and by the Carolina troops under Colonel
Yanderdussen. The anticipated horsemen, pioneers, and
negroes, however, did not arrive.
From the best information he could obtain, — gathered
from prisoners and otherAvise, — General Oglethorpe ascer-
tained that the Castle of St. Augustine at that time con-
sisted of a fort, built of soft stone. Its curtain was sixty
yards in length, its parapet nine feet thick, and its rampart
twenty feet high, "casemated underneath for lodgings, and
arched over and newdy made bomb-proof." Its armament
consisted of fifty cannon, — sixteen of brass, — and among
them some twenty-four pounders. The garrison had been
for some time working upon a covered-way, but this was
still in an unfinished condition. The town of St. Augustine
was protected b}' a line of intrenchments with ten salient
angles, in each of Avhich some field pieces were mounted.
* The object of this fort was to guard the passage of the St. Johns river and maintain
commnnication with St. Marks and Pensae-ola. It was a place of some strength, and the
traces of the earth-works there thrown up may still be seen about a fourth of a mile
north of the termination of the Bellamy road.
Fairbanks' History and Antiquities of St Augustine, pp. 14-4. 145. New York, 1858.
t This work had been erected by Don Diego de Spinosa upon his own estate. Its re-
mains, with one or two cannon, are still visible.
Idem, p. 144.
82 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
In January, 1740, the Spanish forces in Florida, by estab-
lishment, consisted of the following organizations :*
1 Troop of Horse, numbering 100 oflacers and men.
1 Company of Artillery, " 100
3 Independent Companies of old Troops, each " 100
2 Companies of the Regiment of Austurias, " " 53
1 Company " " " Valencia, '" 53
1 " " " " Catalonia, " 53
2 Companies " " " Cantabria, " " 53
2 " " " " Mercia, " " 53
Armed Negroes, . 200
White Transports for labor, 200
I Company of Militia, (strength unknown.)
Indians, (number not ascertained.)
It was General Oglethorpe's original purpose, as fore-
shadowed in his dispatch of the 27th of March, 1740,t
with four hundred regular troops of his regiment, one
hundred Georgians, and such additional forces as South
Carolina could contribute, to advance directly upon St.
Augustine, and attack, by sea and land, the town and
the island in its front. Both of these, he believed, could
be taken " sword in hand." He would then summon the
castle to surrender, or surprise it. Conceiving that the
castle would be too small to afford convenient shelter for
the two thousand one hundred men, women, and children
of the town, he regarded the capitulation of the fortress
as not improbable. Should it refuse to surrender, how
ever, he proposed to shower upon it " Granado-shells from ,
the Cohorns and Mortars, and send for the Artillery and
Pioneers and the rest of the Aid promised by the As-
sembly ;:|; also for Mortars and Bombs from Providence ; "
and, if the castle should not have yielded prior to the
* See Letter of General Oglethorpe to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, under
date December 29, 1739. " The Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 57, 58. London, 1743.
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, pp. 108, 109. Savannah, 1873.
t" Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 59-61. London, 1743.
t Of South Carolina.
arrival of "these Aids," he was resolved to open trenches
and conduct a siege which he reckoned would be all the
easier, the garrison having been weakened by the summer's
About the time of the concentration of the Georgia and
Carolina forces for combined operations against St. Augus-
tine, that town was materially reinforced by the arrival of
six Spanish half-galleys, — manned by two hundred regular
troops and armed with long brass nine-pounder guns, — and
two sloops loaded with provisions.
Warned by the preliminary demonstration which eventu-
ated, as we have seen, in the capture of forts Francis de
Papa and Diego, the enemy massed all detachments within
the lines of St. Augustine, collected cattle from the adjacent
region, and prepared for a vigorous defense.
Apprehending that he might not be able to carry the town
by assault from the land side, — where its entrenchments were
strong and well armed, — unless supported by a demonstra-
tion in force from the men of war approaching the town
where it looks toward the sea and where it was not covered
by earth-works, and being without the requisite pioneer
corps and artillery train for the conduct of a regular siege,
before putting his army in motion General Oglethorpe
instructed the naval commanders to rendezvous off the
bar of the north channel, and blockade that and the
Matanzas pass to St. Augustine. Captain Warren, with two
hundred sailors, was to land on Anastasia island and erect
batteries for bombarding the town in front. When his
land forces should come into position and be prepared
for the assault, he was to notify Sir Yelverton Peyton,
commanding the naval forces, and St. Augustine would
thus be attacked on all sides. Shortly after the middle
84 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
of May, 1740, General Ogletliorpe, with a land army num-
bering over two thousand regulars, militia, and Indians,
moved upon St. Augustine. Fort Moosa," situated within
two miles of that place, lay in his route. Upon his ap-
proach the garrison evacuated it and retired within the
lines of the town. Having burnt the gates of this fort
and caused three breaches in its walls. General Oglethorpe,
on the 5th of June, made his reconnoissances of the land
defenses of St. Augustine and prepared for the contemplated
assault. Everything being in readiness, the signal pre- 1
viously agreed upon to insure the cooperation of the naval,
forces was given ; but, to the General's surprise and morti-
fication, no response was returned. His forces being dis-
posed and eager for the attack, the signal was repeated,
but failed to evoke the anticipated answer. Satisfied that
the town could not be carried without the assistance of
the naval forces, and being ignorant of the cause of their
non-action, the General reluctantly withdrew his army
and placed it in camp at a convenient distance, there to
remain until he could ascertain the reason of the failure
on the part of the navy to cooperate in the plan which
had been preconcerted. This failure was explained in this
wise. Inside the bar, and at such a remove that they
could not be affected by the fire of the British vessels of
war, — the Flamborough, the Phoenix, the Squirrel, the Tar-
tar, the Spence, and the Wolf, — Spanish gallies and half
gallies were moored so as to effectually prevent the ascent
of the barges intended for the attack, and preclude a landing
of troops upon Anastasia island. The shallowness of the
* TMs was an out-post on tlie North river, about two miles north of St. Augustine. A
fortified line,— a considerable portion of wbicb may now be traced,— extended across
from the stoccades on the St. Sebastian to Fort Moosa. A communication by a tide creek
existed through the marshes, between the Castle at St. Augustine and Fort Moosa.
Fairbanks' History and Antiquities of St. Augustine, p. 144. New York, 1858.
water was such that the men of war could not advance near
enough to dislodge them. Under the circumstances there-
fore, Sir Yelverton Peyton found himself unable to respond
to the important part assigned him in the. attack.
Advised of this fact, and chagrined at the non-realization
of his original plan of operations, Oglethorpe determined
at once to convert his purposed assault into a siege. The
ships of war lying off the bar of St. Augustine were directed
to narrowly observe every avenue of approach by water,
and maintain a most rigid blockade. Colonel Palmer, with
ninety-five Highlanders and forty-two Indians, was left
at Fort Moosa with instructions to scout the woods inces-
santly on the land side and intercept any cattle or supplies
coming from the interior. To prevent surprise and capture,
he was cautioned to change his camp each night, and keep
always on the alert. He was to avoid anything like a
general engagement with the enemy. Colonel Vanderdussen,
with his South Carolina regiment, was ordered to take
possession of a neck of land known as Point Quartel, about
a mile distant from the castle, and there erect a battery.
General Oglethorpe, with the men of his regiment and
most of the Indians, embarked in boats and effected a
landing on Anastasia island, where, having driven off a
party of Spaniards there stationed as an advanced guard,
he, with the assistance of the sailors from the fleet, began
mounting cannon with which to bombard the town and
castle."^ Having by these dispositions completed his in-
vestment, Oglethorpe summoned the Spanish Governor to
* The main battery on Anastasia island, called the Poza, was armed with four eighteen
pounders and one nine pounder. Two eighteen pounders were mounted on the point of
the wood of the island. The remains of the Poza battery are still to be seen, almost as
distinctly marked as on the day of its erection. Four mortars and forty cohorns were
employed in the siege.
See Fairbanks' History and Antiquities of St. Augustine, p. 146. New York, 1868.
86 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
a surrender. Secure in his strong-hold, the haughty Don
"sent him for answer that he would be glad to shake hands
with him in his castle." Indignant at such a response,
the General opened his batteries upon the castle and also
shelled the town. The fire was returned both by the fort
and the half gallies in the harbor. So great was the dis-
tance, however, that although the cannonade was maintained
with spirit on both sides for nearly three weeks, little
damage was caused or impression produced."^ It being
evident that the reduction of the castle could not be ex-
pected from the Anastasia island batteries. Captain Warren
offered to lead a night attack upon the half gallies in the
harbor which were effectually preventing all ingress by boats.
A council of war decided that in as much as those galleys
were covered by the guns of the castle, and could not be
approached by the larger vessels of the fleet, any attempt
to capture them in open boats would be accompanied by
too much risk. The suggestion was therefore abandoned.
Observing the besiegers uncertain in their movements,
and their operations growing lax, and being sore pressed
for provisions, the Spanish Governor sent out a detachment
of three hundred men against Colonel Palmer. Unfortu-
nately that officer, negligent of his instructions and ap-
prehending no danger from the enemy, remained two or
three consecutive nights at Fort Moosa. This detachment,
under the command of Don Antonio Salgrado, passed
quietly out of the gates of St. Augustine during the night of
June 14th, and after encountering a most desperate resist-
ance, succeeded in capturing Fort Moosa at day light, the
* The light guns, from their long range, caused trifling effect upon the strong walls of
the castle. When struck, they received the balls in their spongy, infrangible embrace,
and sustained comparatively little injury. The marks of their impact may be noted to
next morning. Colonel Palmer fell early in the action. The
Highlanders "fought like lions," and "made such havoc
with their broadswords as the S]3aniards cannot easily
forget." This hand-to-hand conflict was won at the cost
to the enemy of more than one hundred lives. Colonel
Palmer, a Captain, and twenty Highlanders were killed.
Twenty-seven were captured. Those who escaped made
their way to Colonel Vanderdussen at Pomt Quartel. Thus
was St. Augustine relieved from the prohibition which had
hitherto estopped all intercourse with the surrounding
Shortly after the occurrence of this unfortunate event,
the vessel which had been blockading the Matanzas river
was withdrawn. Taking advantage of the opportunity thus
afforded, some small vessels from Havana, with provisions
and reinforcements, reached St. Augustine by that narrow
channel, bringing great encouragement and relief to the
garrison. This reinforcement was estimated at seven hun-
dred men, and the supply of provisions is said to have
been large. "Then," writes Hewitt,"^ whose narrative we
have followed in the main, " all prospects of starving the
enemy being lost, the army began to despair of forcing
the place to surrender. The Carolinean troops, enfeebled
by the heat, dispirited by sickness, and fatigued by fruit-
less efforts, marched away in large bodies. The navy being
short of provisions, and the usual season of hurricanes,
approaching, the commander judged it imprudent to hazard
his Majesty's ships by remaining longer on that coast.
Last of all, the General himself, sick of a fever, and his
regiment worn out with fatigue and rendered unfit for
* Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and
Georgia, vol. ii, p. 81. London, 1779.
88 THE DEAD TOWNS OF OEORGIA.
action by a flux, with sorrow and regret followed, and
reached Frederica about the 10th of July, 1740."
The Garolineans, under Colonel Yanderdussen, proved
themselves inefficient, " turbulent, and disobedient." They
lost not a single man in action, and only fourteen deaths
occurred from sickness and accident. Desertions were fre-
Upon Oglethorpe's regiment, and the Georgia companies,
devolved the brunt of the siege. On the 5tli of July the
artillery and stores on Anastasia island were brought off, |
and the men crossed over to the mainland. t Yanderdussen
and his regiment at once commenced a disorderly retreat .
in the direction of the St. Johns, leaving Oglethorpe and I
his men within half-cannon shot of the castle. In his dis- •
patch to the Secretary of State, dated Camp on St. Johns in
Florida, July 19th, 1740, the General thus describes his last
movements : " The Spaniards made a sally, with about 500
men, on me who la}" on the land side. I ordered En-
sign Cathcart with twenty men, supported by Major
Heron and Captain Desbrisay with upwards of 100 men, i
to attack them ; I followed with the body. We drove them
into the works and pursued them to the very barriers of
the covered way. After the train and provisions were em-
barked and safe out of the harbour, I marched with drums
beating and colours flying, in the day, from my camp near
* Stephens says, * * Most of the gay Voliinteers run away by small Parties, basely
and cowardlj-, as they conld get Boats to carry them off during the Time of greatest
Action : and Capt. Bull, (a son of the Lieutenant-Governor) who had the Command of a
Company in that Regiment, most scandalously deserted his Post when upon Duty, and
not staying to be relieved regularly, made his Flight privatelj", carrying off four Men of
his Guard with him, and escaped to CJoarles Town; for which he ought in Justice to have
been tried as a Deserter : but he was well received at home.
Journal of Proceedings, &c., vol. rr, p. 462. London, 1742.
Compare Ramsay's History of South Carolina, vol. i, p. 143. Charleston, 1809.
t Wright's Memoir of General James Oglethorpe, p. 254. London, 1867.
the town to a camp three miles distant, where I lay that
night. The next day I marched nine miles, where I en-
camped that night. We discovered a party of Spanish
horse and Indians whom we charged, took one horseman
and killed two Indians ; the rest ran to the garrison. I
am now encamped on St.' Johns river, waiting to know
what the people of Carolina would desire me farther to
do for the safety of these provinces, which I think are
very much exposed to the half-galleys, with a wide ex-
tended frontier hardly to be defended by a few men."
In one of the Indian chiefs Oglethorpe found a man
after his own heart. When asked by some of the retreat-
ing troops to march with them, his reply was, " No ! I
will not stir a' foot till I see every man belonging to me
marched off before me ; for I have always been the first
in advancing towards an enemy, and the last in retreat-
This failure to reduce St. Augustine may be fairly at-
I ; to the delay in inaugurating the movement, caused
mainly, if not entirely, by the tardiness on the part
of the South Carolina authorities in contributing
the troops and provisions for which requisition had
been made ;
II ; to the reinforcement of men and supplies from Ha-
vanna introduced into St. Augustine just before the
English expedition set out ; thereby materially re-
pairing the inequality previously existing betweeii
the opposing forces ;
* See Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 239, 240. Boston, 1841, quoting from the
90 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEOKGIA.
Ill ; to the injudicious movement against forts Francis
de Papa and Diego, which put the Spaniards on
the alert, encouraged concentration on their part,
and foreshadowed an immediate demonstration in
force against their stronghold ; and
IV ; to the inability on the part of the fleet to partici-
pate in the assault previously planned, and which
was to have been vigorously undertaken so soon as
General Oglethorpe with his land forces came into
position before the walls of St. Augustine.
Y. The subsequent destruction of Colonel Palmer's com-
mand, — thereby enabling the enemy to communicate
with and draw supplies from the interior, — the lack
of heavy ordnance with which to reduce the castle
from the batteries on Anastasia island, — the impos-
sibility of bringing up the larger war vessels that
they might participate in the bombardment, — the
inefficiency of Colonel Yanderdussen's command, —
the impatience and disappointment of the Indian
allies who anticipated early capture and hberal
spoils, — hot suns, heav}^ dews, a debilitating climate,
sickness among the troops, and the arrival of men,
munitions of war, and provisions through the Ma-
tanzas river, in the end rendered quite futile every
hope which at the outset had been entertained for
a successful prosecution of the siege.
Great was the disappointment upon the failure of -the
expedition, and unjust and harsh the criticisms levelled by
not a few against its brave and distinguished leader."^ We
*See " An Impartial Account of the late Expedition against St. Augustine under General
Oglethorpe," &c., London, 1742, which called forth "The Spanish Hireling detected," &c.,
agree with the Duke of Argyle who, in the British House
of Peers, declared " One man there is, my Lords, whose
natural generosity, contempt of danger, and regard for the
public prompted him to obviate the designs of the Span-
iards, and to attack them in their own territories ; a man
whom by long acquaintance I can confidently affirm to have
been equal to his undertaking, and to have learned the art
of war by a regular education, who yet miscarried in the
design only for want of supplies necessary to a possibility
Although this attempt, — ^so formidable in its character
when we consider the limited resources at command, and
so full of daring when we contemplate the circumstances
under which it was undertaken, — eventuated in disappoint-
ment, its effects were not without decided advantages to
the Colonies. For two years the Spaniards remained on
the defensive, and General Oglethorpe enjoyed an oppor-
tunity for strengthening his fortifications on St. Simons
island, so that when the counter blow was delivered by
his adversary he was in condition not only to parry it, but
also to severely punish the uplifted arm.""'
For two months after the termination of this expedition,
Oglethorpe lay ill of a continued fever contracted during
* For fuller account of this demonstration against St. Augustine see Harris' " Complete
Collection of Voyages and Travels," &c., pp. 339, 340. London, 1748. "An Impartial Ac-
(•ount of the late Expedition against St. Augustine," &c. London, 1742. "The Spanish
Hireling detected," &c. London, 1743. Stephens' "Joiirnal of Proceedings," &c., vol. ii,
pp.438, 444-448, 461 et aliter. London, 1742. Hewitt's "Historical Account of the Else
and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and G-eoi'gia," vol. ii, chap, viii, pp. 65-82.
London, 1779. McCall's "History of Georgia," vol. i, pp. 143-151. Savannah, 1811. Ste-
vens' "History of Georgia," vol. i., pp. 167-179. New York, 1847. Spalding's "Sketch of
the Life of General James Oglethorpe," Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i,
pp. 265-272. Savannah, 1840. Harris' "Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe," pp.
222-242. Boston, 1841. Wright's "Memoir of General James Oglethorpe," &c., pp. 235-
255. London, 1867. Bamsay's " History of South Carolina," vol. i., pp. 140-144. Charles-
ton, 1809, &c., &c., &c.
Fairbanks' History and Anticiuities of St. Augustine, piJ. 141-152. New York, 1858.
92 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
the exposures and fatigues incident upon his exertions and
anxieties during the siege. When, on the second of Sep-
tember, Mr. Stephens called to see him at Frederica, he
found him still troubled with a lurking fever and confined
to his bed. His protracted sickness had so "worn away
his strength" that he "seldom came down stairs, but re-
tained still the same vivacit}-^ of spirit in appearance to
all whom he talked with, though he chose to converse with
Four companies of the regiment were now encamped at
the south-east end of St. Simons island, and the othe
two at Frederica. So soon as the men recovered from the
malady contracted at St. Augustine, they were busily occu-
pied in erecting new fortifications and strengthening the
old. From these two camps detachments garrisoned the
advanced works, St. Andrew, Fort William, St. George, and
the outposts on Amelia island ; — the details being reheved
at regular intervals.!
During the preceding seven years, Avhich constituted the
entire life of the Colony, General Oglethorpe had enjoyed
no respite from his labors. Personally directing all move-
ments, — supervising the location, and providing for the
comfort, safety, and good order of the settlers, — accom-
modating their differences, — encouraging and directing their
labors, — propitiating the x4.borigines, — influencing necessary
supphes, and inaugurating suitable defences, he had been
constantly passing from point to point finding no rest for
the soles of his feet. Now in tent at Savannah, — now in
open boat reconnoitering the coast, — now upon the southern
islands, — his only shelter the wide-spreading hve-oak, —
*Stepliens' "Journal of Proceedings," &c., vol. n, pp. 467-468, 494-495. London, 1742.
t Idem, p. 496.
designating sites for forts and look-outs, and with liis own
hands planning military works and laying out villages, —
again in journeys oft along the Savannah, the Great Ogee-
chee, the Alatamaha, the St. Johns, and far off into the
heart of the Indian country, — frequently inspecting his
advanced posts, — undertaking voyages to Charlestown and
"to England in behalf of the Trust, and engaged in severe
contests with the Spaniards, his life had been one of in-
cessant activity and solicitude. But for his energy, intel-
ligence, watchfulness, and self-sacrifice, the enterprise must
have languished. x4.s we look back upon this period of trial,
uncertainty, and poverty, our admiration for his achieve-
ments increases the more narrowly we scan his limited
resources and opportunities, the more intelligently we ap-
preciate the difficulties he was called upon to surmount.
Always present wherever duty called or danger threatened,
he never expected others to press on where he himself did
not lead. The only home he ever owned or claimed in
Georgia was on St. Simons island. The only hours of
leisure he ever enjoyed were spent in sight and sound of
his military works along the southern frontier, upon whose
safe tenure depended the salvation of the Colony. Just
where the military road connecting Fort St. Simon with
Frederica, after having traversed the beautiful prairie, —
constituting the common pasture land of the village, —
entered the woods. General Oglethorpe established his
cottage. Adjacent to it were a garden, and an orchard of
oranges, figs and grapes. Magnificent oaks threw their
protecting shadows above and aroujid this quiet, pleasant
abode, fanned by delicious sea-breezes, fragrant with the
perfume of flowers, and vocal with the melody of song-birds.
To the westward, and in full view, were the fortifications
94 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
and the white houses of Frederica. Behind rose a dense
forest of oaks. "This cottage and fifty acres of land
attached to it," says the honorable Thomas Spalding in
his "Sketch of the life of General James Oglethorpe,"*
"was all the landed domain General Oglethorpe reserved
to himself, and after the General went to England it became
the property of my father. * * " After the Revolu-
tionary war, the buildings being destroyed, my father sold
this little property. But the oaks were only cut down I
within four or five years past, and the elder people of St.
Simons yet feel as if it were sacrilege, and mourn their
fall." Here the defences of St. Simons island were under
his immediate supervision. His troops were around him,
and he was prepared, upon the first note of warning, to
concentrate the forces of the Colony for active operations.
In the neighborhood several of his ofiicers established their
homes. Among them, " Harrington Hall," — the country
seat of the wealthy Huguenot, Captain Raymond Demere,
enclosed with hedges of cassina, — was conspicuous for its
beauty and comfort.
Including the soldiers and their families, Frederica in
1740 is said to have claimed a population of one thousand.t
This estimate is perhaps somewhat exaggerated, although
much nearer the mark than that of the discontents Tailfer,
Anderson, and Douglas, who, in their splenetic and Jacobin-
ical tract entitled " A True and Historical Narrative of the
Colony of Georgia in America," assert that of the one
hundred and forty-four lots into which the town was divided,
* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 273. Savannah, 1840,
t Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 274. Savannah, 1840.
Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. in, p. 434. Boston, 1852.
In this estimate may properly be included such ofiicers and men of Oglethorpe's
regiment as were there stationed.
only "about fifty were built upon," and that "the number
of the Inhabitants, notwithstanding of the Circulation of
the Regiment's money, are not over one hundred and twenty
Men, Women, and Children, and these are daily stealing
away by all possible Ways.""'^'
As we have already seen, the town was regularly laid out
in streets called after the principal officers of Oglethorpe's
regiment ; and, including the military camp on the north,
the parade on the east, and "a small wood on the south
which served as a blind to the enemy in case of attack
from ships coming up the river," was about a mile and a
half in circumference. The fort was strongly built of tabby
and well armed. Several eighteen pounders, mounted on a
ravelin in front, commanded the river, and the town was
defended on the land side by substantial intrenchments.
The ditch at the foot of these intrenchments was intended
to admit the influx of the tide, thus rendering the isolation
of Frederica complete, and materially enhancing the
strength of its line of circumvallation. We reproduce from
"An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the
Province of Georgia "f the following contemporaneous
notice : " There are many good Buildings in the Town,
several of which are Brick. There is likewise a Fort and
Store-house belonging to the Trust. The People have a
Minister who has a Salary from the Society for propagating
the Gospel. In the Neighbourhood of the Town, there
is a fine Meadow of 320 Acres ditch'd in, on which a number
* Page 106.. Charles-Town, Soixtli Carolina, 1741.
t Pages 51 and 52. London, 1741.
Compare "A State of the Province of G-eorgia attested upon Oath," &c., p. 11. Lon-
" An Account Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia," &c., p. 36. London, 1741.
Wright's Memoir of Gen'l James Oglethorpe, pp. 263, 264. London, 1867.
96 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEORGIA.
of Cattle are fed, and good Hay is likewise made from it.
At some Distance from the Town is the Camp for General
Oglethorpe s Regiment. The Country about it is well culti-
vated, several Parcels of Land not far distant from the
Camp having been granted in small Lots to the Soldiers,
many of whom are married, and fifty-five Children were
born there in the last year. These Soldiers are the most
industrious, and willing to plant ; the rest are generally
desirous of Wives, but there are not Women enough in |
the Country to supply them. There are some handsome
Houses built by the Officers of the Regiment, and besides
the Town of Frederica there are other little Villages upon r
this Island. A sufficient Quantity of Pot-herbs, Pulse, and f
Fruit is produced there to su]3ply both the Town and
Garrison ; and the People of Frederica have begun to malt
and to brew ; and the Soldiers Wives Spin Cotton of the
Country, which they Knit into Stockings. At the Town of
Frederica is a Town-Court for administring Justice in the
Southern Part of the Province, with the same Number of
Magistrates as at Savannah.''
At the village of St. Simon, on the south point of the
island, was erected a watch-tower from which the move-
ments of vessels at sea might be conveniently observed.
Upon their appearance, their number was at once an-
nounced by signal guns, and a horseman dispatched to
head quarters with the particulars. A look-out was kept
by a party of Rangers at Bachelor's Redoubt on the main,
and a Corporal's guard was stationed at Pike's Bluff. To
facilitate communication with Darien a canal was cut
through General's island. Defensive works were erected on
Jekyll island, where Captain Horton had a well improved
plantation, and there a brewery was established for supply-
ing the troops with beer. On Cumberland island were three
batteries, — Fort St. Andrew, — built in 1736, on high com-
manding ground, at the north-east point of the island, — a
battery on the west to control the inland navigation, — and
Fort William, — a work of considerable strength and regu-
larity, — commanding the entrance to St. Mary's river. Two
companies of Oglethorpe's regiment were stationed near
Fort St. Andrew. As many of the soldiers were married,
lots were assigned to them which they cultivated and im-
proved. Near this work was the little village of Barrimacke
of twenty-four families.
Upon Amelia island, where the orange trees were grow-
ing wild in the woods, were stationed the Highlanders
with their scout boats. They had a good plantation, —
upon which they raised corn enough for their subsist-
ence, — a little fort, and "a stud of horses and mares. ""^
"Nowhere," remarks Mr. Spalding,t "had mind, with
the limited means under its control, more strongly evinced
its power. And it will be seen hereafter, that it was to
the great ability shown in the disposition of these works,
that not Georgia only, but Carolina owed their preserva-
tion ; for St. Simon's was destined soon to become the
Thermopylae of the southern Anglo American provinces."
Besides compassing the improvement of, and garrisoning
his defensive works along the southern frontier with the
men of his regiment, Oglethorpe kept in active service con-
siderable bodies of Indians whose mission was to harrass
the Spaniards in Florida, annoy their posts, and closely
invest St. Augustine. So energetically did these faithful
*See an Impartial Enquiry into tlie State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, &c.,
p. 53. London, 1743.
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 264. London. 1867.
t Collections of the G-eorgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 258. Savannah, 1840.
98 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
allies discharge tlie duty assigned them, and so narrowly
did they watch and thoroughly plague the garrison and
inhabitants of St. Augustine, that they dared not venture
any distance without the walls. Adjacent plantations re-
mained uncultivated ; and, within the town, food, fuel, and
the necessaries of life became so scarce that the Spanish
government was compelled to support the population by
stores sent from Havana. To the efficient aid of his In-
dian allies was Oglethorpe on more than one occasion
indebted for the consummation of important plans. It
would not be an exaggeration to affirm that to their friend-
ship, fidelity, and valor, was the Colony largely beholden'
not only for its security, but even for its preservation. " If
we had no other evidence," writes Mr. Spalding, " of the
great abilities of Oglethorpe but what is offered by the
devotion of the Indian Tribes to him, and to his memory
afterwards for fifty years, it is all-sufficient ; for it is only
master minds that acquire this deep and lasting influence
over other men."
In his letter to the Duke of Newcastle, dated Frederica,
May 12th, 1741, Oglethorpe advises the Home Government
of a reinforcement of eight hundred men newly arrived at
St. Augustine, and of a declared intention on the part of
the Spanish authorities to invade the provinces of Georgia
and Carolina so soon as the result of Admiral Yernon's
expedition in the West Indies should have been ascer-
tained. He makes urgent demand for men-of-war to guard
the water approaches, for a train of artillery, arms, and
ammunition, and for authority to recruit the two troops
of Rangers to sixty men each, and the Highland company
to one hundred, to enlist one hundred boatmen, and to
purchase or build, and man two half-galleys. Alludiug to
the expected advance of the Spaniards, the writer con-
tinues : " If our men of war will not keep them from
coming in by sea, and we have no succour, but decrease
daily by different accidents, all we can do will be to die
bravely in his Majesty's service. ^ - I have often
desired assistance of the men-of-war, and continue to do
so. I go on in fortifying this town, making magazines,
and doing everything I can to defend the Province vigor-
ously, and I hope my endeavors will be approved of by
his Majesty, since the whole end of my life is to do the
duty of a faithful subject and grateful servant. I have
thirty Spanish prisoners in this place, and we continue so
masters of Florida that the Spaniards have not been able
to rebuild any one of the seven forts which we destroyed
in the last expedition."
It does not appear that the men-of-Avar and ordnance
requested were ever furnished.
With a little squadron composed of the Guard sloop, the
sloop "Falcon," and Captain Davis' schooner "Norfolk"
carrying a detachment of his regiment under command of
Major Heron, General Oglethorpe on the 16tli of August,
1741, bore down upon a large Spanish ship lying at anchor,
with hostile intent, off the bar of Jekyll sound. A heavy
storm intervening, the Spanish vessel put to sea and was
lost to sight. Unwilling to dismiss his miniature fleet
until he had performed more substantial service, the Gen-
eral boldly continued down the coast, attacked and put
to flight a Spanish man-of-war, and the notorious privateer
" Black-Sloop " commanded by Destrade, a French ofiicer,
challenged the vessels lying in the inner harbor of St. Au-
gustine to come out and engage his small squadron, re-
mained at anchor all night within sight of the castle,
100 THE DEID TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
cruised for some days off the Matanzas, and, after having
alarmed the whole coast, returned in safety to Frederica.
In the midst of these labors and anxieties incident upon
his preparations to resist the threatened Spanish invasion,
and at a time when harmony and content were most essen-
tial to the well-being of the Colony, Oglethorpe was an-
noyed by sundry complaints from evil-minded persons.
Most of them were frivolous, and a few quite insulting in
their character. The publication of two tracts, one enti-
tled "An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of
the Province of Georgia,"^ and the other "A State of the
Province of Georgia attested upon Oath in the Court of
Savannah, November 10, 1740,"t — both presenting favor- I
able views of the Colony and disseminated in the interest *
of the Trust, — irritated these malcontents and gave rise to
several rejoinders, among which, as particularly reflecting
upon the conduct of the commander-in-chief and his ad-
ministration of affairs, may be mentioned "A Brief Account
of the Causes that have Retarded the Progress of the
Colony of Georgia in America, attested upon Oath, being
a Proper Contrast to 'A State of the Province of Georgia
attested upon Oath,' and some other misrepresentations
on the same subject.":]: The charge was openly made
that some of the magistrates at Savannah and Frederica
(the principal towns in Georgia) had wilfully injured the
people by declaring "from the Bench tliat the Laws of
England were no laws in Georgia," by causing "false im-
prisonments," by " discharging Grand Juries while matters
of Felony lay before them," by "intimidating Petit Juries,"
and, in short, "by sticking at nothing to oppress the
* London, 1741.
t London, 1742.
J London, 1743.
people." It was further alleged that there was no way
of applying for redress to his Majesty. General Oglethorpe
was accused of partiality and tyranny in his administra-
tion. In support of these charges various affidavits were
obtained from parties claiming to be residents of Frederica,
Darien, Savannah, Ebenezer, and Augusta, — most of them,
however, being sworn to and verified outside the limits of
Georgia. Those who are curious with regard to the con-
tents of these affidavits, so far as they reflect upon the
conduct of the Frederica magistrates, are referred to the
depositions of Samuel Perkins, John Roberson, and Samuel
A desire to sell forbidden articles, and to ply trades for
which special permission had been granted to others, oppo-
sition to the regulation which prohibited the owners of
hogs and cattle from allowing them to run at large on the
common and in the streets of Frederica, alleged misfeas-
ance in the conduct of bailiffs and under-magistrates in
the discharge of their duties, the unprofitableness of labor,
overbearing acts committed by those in authority, and simi-
lar matters formed the burthen of these sworn complaints.
While they tended to distract the public mind and to
annoy those upon whose shoulders rested the administra-
tion of affairs, they fortunately failed in producing any
serious impression either within the Colony or in the
mother country. We allude to the subject in its proper
connection simply as a matter of history, and to show how
ill-judgecl and ill-timed were these efforts of the malcon-
tents, among whom Pat Tailfer, M. D., Hugh Anderson,
M. A., and Da: Douglas should not be forgotten.
*A Brief Account of the Causes that have retarded the Progress of the Colony of
Georgia, &c., Appendix, pp. 1-19. London, 1743.
102 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
The utter destruction of the provinces of Georgia and
South Carohna was the avowed object of the Spaniards,
who promised to extend no quarter to Enghsh or Indians
taken with arms in their hands. The struggle was to be
desperate in the extreme. To the urgent apphcations for
assistance forwarded by General Oglethorpe, Lieutenant-
Governor Bull turned a deaf ear ; and the Carolinians, in-
stead of furnishing supplies and munitions of war, and
marching to the south to meet the invader where the battle
for the salvation of both Colonies was to be fought, re-
mained at home, leaving the Georgians single-handed to
breast the storm."''
The Gentleman's Magazine^ contains the following esti-
mate of the Spanish forces under the command of Don
Manuel de Monteano, Governor of Augustine and Com-
mander-in-Chief of the expedition, and Major General An-
tonio de Rodondo, Engineer General, participating in the
attack upon St. Simons island :
" 2 Colonels with Brevits of Brigadiers.
" One Regiment of Dragoons, dismounted, with theii-
Saddles and Bridles.
" The Regiment call'd The Battalion of the Havannali.
" 10 Companies of 50 each, draughted off from several
Regiments of Havannali.
" One Regiment of the Havannali Militia, consisting of
10 Companies of 100 Men each.
" One Regiment of Negroes, regularly officer'd by Ne-
" One ditto of Mulattas, and one Company of 100 Migue-
*See Letter of General Oglethorpe, dated Frederica, June «th, 1742.
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 298. London, 1867.
t For 17-12. Vol. sii, p. 694.
" One Company of the Train with proper Artillery.
" Augustine Forces consisting of about 300 Men.
" Ninety Indians.
" And 15 Negroes who ran away from South Carolina.''
From the various accounts of this memorable struggl
we select that prepared by Oglethorpe himself, written on
the spot, with the scars of battle fresh around him, and
the smoke of the conflict scarce lifted from the low-lying
shores and dense woods of St. Simons island. The com-
manding eye that saw, the stern lips which answered back
the proud defiance, and the strong arm which, under Provi-
dence, pointed the way to victory, are surely best able to
unfold the heroic tale. We present the report as it came
from his pen :^
"Frederica in Georgia,
30th July, 1742.
" The Spanish Invasion which has a long time threatened
the Colony. Carolina, and all North America has at last
fallen upon us and God hath been our deliverance. General
Horcasilas, Governour of the Havannah, ordered those
Troops who had been employed against General Went-
worth to embark with Ai'tillery and everything necessary
upon a secret expedition. They sailed with a great fleet :t
amongst them were two half Galleys carrying 120 men
each & an 18 pound Gun. They drew but five feet water
which satisfied me they were for this place. By good
great Fortune one of the half Galleys was wrecked coming
out.J The Fleet sailed for St. Augustine in Florida. Capt.
*See Collections of tlie Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii, p. 133 et seq. Savannah, 1873.
t Consisting of fifty-six sail, and between seven and eight thousand men.
+ This was a large Settee having one hundred and fifty men on board. A few daj^s after"
wards the fleet was dispersed by a storm so that all the shipping did not arrive at St. Au-
104 THE DEAD TOWNS OF CxEOKGlA.
Homer the latter end of May called here for Intelligence.
I acquainted him that the Succours were expected and sent
him a Spanish Pilot to shew him where to meet with them.
He met with ten saiP w^hich had been divided from the Fleet
by storm, but having lost 18 men in action against them,
instead of coming here for the defence of this Place he
stood again for Charles Town to repair, and I having cer-
tain advices of the arrival of the Spanish Pleet at Augus-
tine wa^ote to the Commander of His Majesty's Ships at
Charles Town to come to our assistance.'!-
" I sent Lieut. Maxwell who arrived there and delivered
the letters the 12th of June, and afterwards Lieut. MacKayA
who arrived and delivered letters on the 20th of June.
" Lieut. Colonel Cook who was then at Charles Town, and
was Engineer, hastened to England, and his son-in-law
Ensign Eyre, Sub-Engineer, w^as also in Charles Town, and
did not arrive here till the action was over ; so, for want of
help, I myself was obliged to do the duty of Engineer.
"The Havannah Fleet, being joined by that of Florida,
composed 51 sail, with land men on board, a List of whom
is annexed : they were separated, and I received advice
from Capt. Dunbar (who lay at Fort William with the
Guard Schooner of 14 Guns and ninety men) that a Spanish
Fleet of 14 sail had attempted to come in there, J but being
* Tliese lie attacked, driving some of them ashore.
t" Never did the Carolineans," says Mr. Hewitt, -'make so bad a figure in the defence
of their country. When union, activity and dispatch were so requisite, they ingloriously
stood at a distance, and siiffering private pique to prevail over public spirit, seemed
determined to risk the safety of their country, rather than General Oglethorpe by their
help shoiild gain the smallest degree of honour and repiitation. * * "^ The Georgians
Avith justice blamed their more powerful neighbors, who, by keeping at a distance in the
day of danger, had almost hazarded the loss of both provinces."
Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and
Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 119, 1'20. London, 1779.
JThis was on the 21st of June. Most of the accounts place the number of Spanish
vessels, then attempting to enter Amelia Sound, at nine, instead of fourteen.
drove out by the Cannon of the Fort and Schooner they
came in at Cumberland Sound. I sent over Capt. Horton
to land the Indians and Troops on Cumberland. I fol-
lowed myself and was attacked in the Sound, but with two
Boats fought my way through. Lieut. Tolson, who was
to have supported me with the third and strongest boat,
quitted me in the fight and run into a River where he hid
himself till next day when he returned to St. Simons with an
account that I was lost but soon after found. I was arrived
there before him, for which misbehaviour I put him in
arrest and ordered him to be tryed. The Enemy in this
action suffered so much^ that the day after they ran out
to sea and returned for St. Augustine and did not join
their great Fleet till after their Grenadiers were beat by
" I drew the Garrison from St. Andrews, reinforced Fort
William, and returned to St. Simons with the Schooner.
"Another Spanish Fleet appeared the 28th off the Barr :
by God's blessing upon several measures taken I delayed
their coming in till the 5th of July. I raised another Troop
of Rangers, which with the other were of great service.
" I took Captain Thomson's shipt into the service for
defence of the Harbour. I imbargoe'd all the Vessells,
taking their men for the service, and gave large Gifts
and promises to the Indians so that every day we in-
creased in numbers. I gave large rewards to men who
distinguished themselves upon any service, freed the ser-
vants, i brought down the Highland Company, and Com-
*In endeavoring to reach St. Augustine for repairs, four of their vessels foundered at
tThis was the merchant ship "Success," mounting twenty guns. The General sent one
hundred soldiers on board of her and filled her with necessary military stores. Thus she
became, in the language of one of her crew, "ready for twice the number of Spaniards."
$For their passage and outfit, they had agreed to labor for the Trust for a given period.
106 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
pany of Boatmen, filled up as far as we had guns. All
the vessels being thus prepared^ on the 5th of July with
a leading Gale and Spring Tide 36 sail of Spanish ves-
sels run into the Harbour in line of Battle.
" We cannonaded them very hotly from the Shipping and
Batterys. They twice attempted to board Capt. Thom-
son t but were repulsed. They also attempted to board
the Schooner, but were repulsed by Capt. Dunbar with
a Detachment of the Regiment on board.
" I was with the Indians, Bangers, and Batterys, and some
times on board the ships, and left Major Heron with th
Regiment. It being impossible for me to do my duty as
General and be constantly with the Regiment, therefore it
was absolutely necessary for His Majesty's service to have
a Lieut. Colonel present, which I was fully convinced of
by this day's experience. I therefore appointed Major
Heron to be Lieut. Colonel, and hope that your Grace
will move His Majesty to be pleased to approve the same.
" The Spaniards after an obstinate Engagement of four
hours, in which they lost abundance of men, passed all our
Batterys and Shipping and got out of shot of them towards
Frederica. Our Guard Sloop was disabled and sunk : one
of our Batterys blown up, and also some of our Men on
* This little fleet consisted of the "Success," Captain Thompson, of twenty guns and
one hundred and ten men, with springs upon her cables, — G-eneral Oglethorpe's schooner
of fourteen guns and eighty men,— and the sloop "St. Philip," of fourteen guns and
eighty men. Eight York sloops were close in shore, with one man on board each of them,
whose instructions were, in case the enemy were about to capture, to sink or run them
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xn, p. i95.
t This attempt was made by the Spanish Commodore with a ship of twenty-two guns,
and a settee with an eighteen pounder and two nine pounders in her bow. So stout was
the resistance offered by Captain Thompson with the great guns of his ship, by Captain
Carr and his company of Marines, and by Lieutenant Wall and Ensign Otterbridge in
charge of a detachment from Oglethorpe's Kegiment, that the Spaniards were obliged to
retire with loss. A snow of sixteen guns at the same time attempted to board the Guard
Schooner, but was repulsed by Captain Dunbar.
See Harris' Complete Collection of Voj-ages and Travels, vol. ii, p. 3il. London, 1748.
board Capt. Thomson, upon which I called a Council of
War at the head of the Kegiment where it was unanimously
resolved to march to Frederica to get there before the
Enemy and defend that Place. To destroy all the Provi-
sions, Vessels, Artillery, &c., at St. Simon's, that they might
not fall into the Enemy's hands.
"This was accordingly executed, having first drawn all
the Men on shoar which before had defended the shipping.
I myself staid till the last, and the wind coming fortunately
about I got Capt. Thompson's Ship, our Guard Schooner,
and our Prize Sloop to sea and sent them to Charles Town.
This I did in the face and spite of thirty-six sail of the
Enemy : as for the rest of the Vessells, I could not save
them, therefore was obliged to destroy them.
"I must recomend to His Majesty the Merchants who
are sufferers thereby, since their loss was in great measure
the preserving the Province.
"We arrived at Frederica, and the Enemy landed at St.
" On the 7th a party of their's marched toward the Town :
our Rangers discovered them and brought an account of
their march, on which I advanced with a party of Indians,
Rangers, and the Highland Company, ordering the Regiment
to follow, being resolved to engage them in the Defiles
of the Woods before they could get out and form in the
open Grounds. I charged them at the head of our Indians,
* From tlie statement made by five Spanish prisoners captured and brought in by the
Creek Indians, it appeared that Don Manuel de Monteano, Governor of St. Augustine, was
the Commander in Chief of the Expedition, and that Major General Antonio de Kedondo
was Chief Engineer. He and two Brigadier Generals accompanied the forces which came
from Cuba. The aggregate strength of the expedition was about five thousand men, of
whom four thoiisand three hundred were landed on St. Simons.
Heavy scouting parties were sent out in every direction by General Oglethorpe to ob-
serve the movements of the enemy and retard any advance in the direction of Frederica,
the defences of which were being strengthened as rapidly and as thoroughly as time and
the forces at command would permit.
108 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
Highland Men and Eangers, and God was pleased to give
us such success that we entirely routed the first party,
took one Captain prisoner,, and killed another, and pursued
them two miles to an open Meadow or Savannah, upon
the edge of which I posted three Platoons of the Regiment
and the Company of Highland foot so as to be covered
by the woods from the Enemy who were obliged to pass
thro' the Meadow under our fire.* This disposition was
very fortunate. f Capt. Antonio Barba and two other
Captains with 100 Grenadiers and 200 foot, besides Indians-
and Negroes, advanced from the Spanish Camp into the
Savannah with Huzzah's and fired with great spirit, but
not seeing our men by reason of the woods, none of their
shot took place, but ours did. J
* In tMs charge Oglethorpe encountered one hundred and twenty Spanish Pioneers,
forty Yamassee Indians, and an equal number of negroes. So violent was the onslaught
that nearly the whole party was either captured or slain. With his own hands the Gen-
eral captured two prisoners. Captain Sanchio commanding this advance, was taken
prisoner by Lieut. Scroggs of the Rangers, and Toonahowi, although shot through the
right arm by a Spanish officer, drew his pistol with his left and killed his antagonist on
See Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 305.
McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 181.
t After locating his troops, Oglethorpe hastened back to Frederica to prepare the Ran-
gers and the Marine Company for action at a moments warning.
t Captain McCall furnishes the following account of this affair :
Captain Noble Jones, with a detachment of regulars and Indians, being out on a scout-
ing party, fell in with a small detachment in the enemy's advance, who were surprised
and made prisoners, not deeming themselves so far in front of the main army. From
these prisoners information was received that the whole Spanish army was advancing :
this was immediately communicated by an Indian runner to the General who detached
Captain Dunbar Avith a company of grenadiers to join the regulars and Indians, with
orders to harrass the enemy on their advance. These detachments having formed a
junction, observed at a distance the Spanish army on the march ; and taking a favorable
position near a marsh, formed an ambuscade. The enemy fortunately halted within a
hundred paces of this position, stacked their arms, made fires, and were preparing their
kettles for cooking, when a horse observed some of the party in ambuscade, and, fright-
ened at the uniform of the regulars, began to snort, and gave the alarm. The Spaniards
ran to their arms, but were shot down in great numbers by Oglethorpe's detatchment,
who continued invisible to the enemy ; and after repeated attempts to form, in which some
of their principal oflBicers fell, they fled with the utmost precipitation, leaving their camp
equipage on the field, and never halted until they got under cover of the guns of their
battery and ships. General Oglethorpe had detached Major Horton with a reinforcement,
who arrived only in time to join in the pursuit. So complete was the surprise of the enemy.
" Some Platoons of ours in the heat of the fight, the air
being darkened with the smoak, and a shower of rain faUing,
retired in disorder.
" I hearing the firing, rode towards it, and at near two
miles from the place of Action, met a great many men in
disorder who told me that ours were routed and Lieut.
Sutherland killed. I ordered them to halt and march back
against the Enemy, which orders Capt. Demere and Ensign
Gibbon obeyed, but another Officer did not, but made the
best of his way to Town. As I heard the fire continue I
concluded our Men could not be quite beaten, and that
my immediate assistance might preserve them : therefore
spurred on and arrived just as the fire was done. I found
the Spaniards intirely routed by one Platoon of the Kegi-
ment, under the Comand of Lieut. Sutherland, and the
Highland Company under the Comand of Lieut. Charles
" An Officer whom the Prisoners said was Capt. Don
Antonio Barba* was taken Prisoner, but desperately
wounded, and two others were prisoners, and a great many
dead upon the spot. Lieut. Sutherland, Lieut. Charles
MacKay and Sergt. Stuart having distinguished themselves
upon this occasion, I appointed Lieut. Sutherland Brigade
Major, and Sergt. Stuart second Ensign.
that many fled witlioiit tlieir arms ; others in a rapid, retreat discharged their muskets
over their shoulders at their pursuers ; and many were killed by the loaded arms which
were left on the ground; generally the Spaniards fired so miich at random that the trees
were pruned by the balls from their muskets ; their loss in killed, wounded and prison-
ers, was estimated at five hundred. The loss in Oglethorpe's detachment was very in-
considerable. From the signal victory obtained over the enemy, and the great slaiighter
amongst the Spanish troops, the scene of action just described has ever since been de-
nominated the bloody marshy
+ History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 18.5, 187. Savannah, 1811.
Compare Spalding's Life of Oglethorpe, Collections of the Georgia Historical Society,
vol. I. pp. 281-284. Savannah. 1840.
*The Spaniards regarded the loss of this officer as more severe than that of a thousand
110 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
"Capt. Demere and Ensign Gibbon being arrived with
tlie men they had rallied, Lieut. Cadogan with an advanced
party of the Regiment, and soon after the whole Regiment,
Indians, and Rangers, I marched down to a causeway over a
marsh very near the Spanish Camp over which all were
obliged to pass,- and thereby stopt those who had been
dispersed in the fight in the Savannah from getting to the
Spanish Oamp."^ Having passed the night there, the Indian
scouts in the morning advanced to the Spanish Camp and
discovered they were all retired into the ruins of the Fort
and were making Intrenchments under shelter of the cannon I
of the ships. That they guessed them to be above 4,000
men. I thought it imprudent to attack them defended by
Cannon with so small a number but marched back to
Fredericat to refresh the soldiers, and sent out Partys of
Indians and Rangeis to harrass the Enemy. I also ordered
into arrest the officers who commanded the Platoons that
" I appointed a General Staff : Lieut. Hugh MacKay and
Lieut. Maxwell Aids de Camj^, and Lieut. Sutherland
Brigade Major. J On ye 11th of July the Great Galley
and two little ones came up the river towards the Town.
We fired at them with the few Guns, so warmly that they
retired, and I followed them with our Boats till they got
under the cannon of their ships which lay in the sound.
"Having intelligence from the Spanish Camp that they
had lost 4 Captains and upwards of 200 men in the last
Action, besides a great many killed in the sea-fight, and
* In these two engagements the enemy had sustained a loss of two Captains, one Lieu-
tenant, two Sergeants, two Drummers, and one hundred and sixty privates killed ; and
one Captain and nineteen men captured.
t This was on the 8th of July.
$ During the 9th and 10th of July all hands were employed on the works at Frederica,
except the scouts and Indians: the latter brought in some scalps and prisoners.
several killed in the night bj the Indians even within
or near the camp, and that they had held a Council of
War in which there were great divisions, insomuch that
the Forces of Cuba separated from those of Augustine
and the Italick Regiment of Dragoons separated
from them both at a distance from the rest near the woods,
and that there was a general Terror amongst them, upon
which I was resolved to beat up their Quarters in the
night and marching down with the largest body of men
I could make, I halted within a mile and a half of their
camp to form, intending to leave the Troops there till I
had well reconitred the Enemy's disposition.
"A French Man who without my knowledge was come
down among*st the volunteers fired his Gun and deserted.
Our Indians in vain persued and could not take him.
Upon this, concluding we were discovered, I divided the
Drums in different parts and beat the Grenadiers march
for about half an hour, then ceased, and we marched back
"The next day* I prevailed with a Prisoner, and gave
him a sum of money, to carry a letter privately and de-
liver it to that French Man who had deserted. This Letter
was wrote in French as if fi'om a friend of his, telling him
he had received the money that he should strive to make
the Spaniards believe the English were weak. That he
should undertake to pilot up their Boats and Galleys and
then bring them under the Woods where he knew the
Hidden Batterys were ; that if he could bring that about,
he should have double the reward he had already received.
That the French Deserters should have all that had been
promised to them. The Spanish Prisoner got into their
* July 13tli.
112 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEOKGIA.
Camp and was immediately carried before theii' General
Don Manuel de Montiano. He was asked how he escaped
and whither he had any letters, but denying his having any,
was strictly searched and the letter found, and he upon
being pardoned, confessed that he had received money to
deliver it to the Frenchman, for the letter was not directed.
The Frenchman denied his knowing anything of the con-
tents of the Letter or having received any Money or Cor-
respondence with me, notwithstanding which, a Council of
War was held and they deemed the French Man to be a
double spy, but General Montiano would not suffer him to
be executed, having been imployed by him : however, they
imbarqued all their Troops,^ and halted under Jekyl, they
also confined all the French on board and imbarked with
such precipitation that they left behind them Cannon, &c., I
and those dead of their wounds, unburied. The Cuba
* St. Simon's town was destroyed by the Spaniards prior to their evacuation of the
island. To a writer in the Loudon Magazine for 1745,t who made his observations in the
early part of 1743, are we indebted for the following notice of this place : — "At the South
Point of this Island of St. Simon, are the Ruins of the Town of St. Simons destroyed by the
Spaniards at their Invasion. By the remaining Vestiges it must have been a very uniform
Place ; and the Situation is quite charming, tho" it now makes one melancholy to see
such a Desolation in so new a Country. The only Building they left standing was one
House which they had consecrated for a (Jhapel. How different the Proceedings of the
more generous English even in their Parts AAi-ho never leave behind them such direful
Remembrances : but here religious Fury goes Hand in Hand with Conquest, resolv'd to
ruin whom they can't convert. The Fort has some Remains still, and seems to have been
no extraordinary affair : tho' no Place was ever better defended, and the Enemies seem,
by thoir Works and Intrenchments to have thought themselves sure of keeping the Town,
but found themselves wofully mistaken. Down the Beach to the westward is a Look-out
of Tappy-work which is a very good Mark for standing over the Bar into the Harbour :
and on the opposite Point of Jekyl Island is a very remarkable Hammock of Trees much
taken notice of by Seamen on the same Account. Somewhat lower and more Northerly is
the Plantation call'd Gascoign's which xinderwent the same Fate with St. Simons. An \
Officer's Command is station'd at South Point, who disposes his Gentries so as to discover I
Vessels some Leagues at Sea, and upon any such Discovery an Alarm-Gun is flr'd, and an
Horseman sent up mth Notice to the Head-Quarters which is nine miles from this Place.
If they appear to make for the Harbour, a perpendicular mounted Gun is fir'd as a Signal,
which, by the Ascent of the Smoke is a Direction to a Ship a long Way in the Offing, and
is a most lucky Contrivance. The road from hence to Frederica is cut through the
Woods, and through the Marshes rais'd upon a Causeway."
t Page 549.
Squadron stood out to sea to the number of 20 sail : Gen-
eral Montiano with the Augustine Squadron returned to
Cumberland Sound, having burnt Captain Horton's houses,
&G., on Jekyll. I, with our boats, followed him. I dis-
covered a great many sail under Fort St. Andrew, of which
eight appeared to me plain, but being too strong for me
to attack, I sent the Scout Boats back.
" I went" with my own Cutter and landed a man on Cum-
berland who carried a letter from me to Lieut. Stuart at Fort
William with orders to defend himself to the last extremity.
" Having discovered our Boats & believing we had landed
Indians in the night they set sail with great haste, in so
much that not having time to imbarque, they killed 40
horses which they had taken there, and burnt the houses.
The Galleys and small Craft to the number of fifteen went
thro' the inland Water Passages. They attempted to land
near Fort William, but were repulsed by the Rangers ;
they then attacked it with Cannon and small Arms from
the water for three Hours, but the place was so bravely
defended by Lieut. Alexander Stuart that they were re-
pulsed and ran out to sea where twelve other sail of
Spanish vessells had lain at anchor without the Barr during
the Attack without stirring, but the Galleys being chased
out, they hoisted all the sails they could and stood to the
Southward. I followed them with the Boats to Fort Wil-
liam, and from thence sent out the Rangers and some
Boats who followed them to Saint Johns, but they went
off rowing and sailing to St. Augustine.
" After the news of their defeat in the Grenadier Sa-
vannah arrived at Charles Town, the Men of War and
a number of Carolina People raised in a hurry set out
* July 16tli.
114 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEOKaiA.
and came off this Barr after the Spaniards had been
chased quite out of this Colony, where they dismissed the
Carohna vessels, and Capt. Hardy promised in his Let-
ters to cruise off St. Augustine.
"We have returned thanks to God for our deliverance,
have set all the hands I possibly could to work upon the
Fortifications, and have sent to the Northward to raise
men ready to form another Battalion against His Majes-
ty's Orders shall arrive for that purpose. I have retained
Thompson's ship, have sent for Cannon Shott, <fec., for Provi-
sions and all kinds of stores since I expect the Enemy, who
(tho' greatly terrified) lost but few men in comparison of
their great numbers, as soon as they have recovered their
fright will attack us with more caution and better discipline.
"I hope His Majesty will approve the measures I have
taken, and I must entreat Your Grace to lay my humble
request before His Majesty that he would be graciously
pleased to order Troops, Artillery and other Necessarys
sufficient for the defence of this Frontier and the neigh-
boring Provinces, or give such direction as His Majesty
shall think proper, and I do not doubt but with a moderate
support not only to be able to defend these Provinces,
but also to dislodge the Enemy from St. Augustine if I
have but the same numbers they had in this expedition."*
* For furtliei' account of this memorable defence, see —
Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ii, pp. 340, 342. Loudon, 1748.
McCall's History Cf Georgia, vol. i., pp. 17G, 190. Savannali, 1811.
Hewitt's Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina
and Georgia, vol. n., pp. 114, 119. London, 1779. i
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. r, pp. 180, 196. New York, 1847. I
Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 250, 268. Boston, 1840. '
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, pp. 299, 317. London, 1867.
Spalding's Life of Oglethorpe, Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i,
pp. 275, 284. Savannah, 1840.
Ramsay's History of South Carolina, vol. i, pp. 144, 147. Chaileston, 1809.
London Magazine, vol. xi, pp. 515, 516, 568.
Gentleman's Magazine for 1742, vol. xii, pp. 494, 496, 550, 561, 693, 694.
Gentleman's Magazine for 1743, vol. xiii, pp. 84, 638, 639.
That a small force of between six and seven hundred
men, assisted by a few weak vessels, should have put to
flight an army of nearly five thousand Spanish troops,
supported by a powerful fleet, and amply equipped for
the expedition, seems almost incapable of explanation.""
General Oglethorpe's bravery and dash, the timidity of the
invaders, coupled with the dissentions which arose in their
ranks, and the apprehensions caused by the French letter,
furnish the only plausible explanation of the victory.
Whitefield's commentary was : " The deliverance of Georgia
from the Spaniards is such as cannot be paralleled but
by some instances out of the Old Testament." The defeat
of so formidable an expedition by such a handful of men
was a matter of astonishment to all. Had Don Manuel
de Monteano pushed his forces vigorously forward, the
stoutest resistance offered along his short line of march
and from the walls of the town would have been ineffectual
for the salvation of Frederica. Against the contingency of
an evacuation of this strong-hold Oglethorpe had provided,
*The following estimate was made of tlie forces engaged :
One regiment of dismounted Dragoons 400
Havanna Regiment . 500
Havanna Militia 1,000
Regiment of Artillery 400
Florida Militia 400
Battalion of Mulattoes 300
Black Regiment 400
GrENEEAL OGLETHOEPE'S COMMAND.
His Regiment 472
Company of Rangers 30
Armed Militia 40
See McCall's History of Georgia, vol i, p. 196. Savannah, 1811.
116 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
as best lie could, by a concentration of boats in wliicli to
transport the garrison to Darien"^ by way of the cut
previously made through General's island. This necessity,
however, was fortunately never laid upon him. If the
naval forces at Charleston had responded to his requisitions,
a considerable portion of the Spanish fleet might have
been captured. Oglethorpe's success in his military opera-
tions may be explained by the fact that he constantly acted
on the offensive. He was never content to grant any peace
to an enemy who was within striking distance. The temerity
and persistency of his attacks inspired his followers, and
impressed his antagonist with the belief that the arm
delivering the blow was stronger than it really was.
The memory of this defense of St. Simons island
and the southern frontier is one of the proudest in the
annals of Georgia. Thus was the existence of the Col-
ony perpetuated. Thus was hurled back in wrath and
mortification a powerful army of invasion whose avowed
object was to show no quarter,t but crush out of ex-
* Of the condition of this town in 1743 we find the following account in the London
Magazine for 1745 :t "Our first Stage we made New Inverness, or the DsLrien, on the Conti-
nent near 20 miles from Frederica ; which is a Settlement of Highlanders living and dress-
ing in their own Country Fashion, very happily and contentedly. There is an Indepen-
dent Company of Foot of them, consisting of 70 men who have been of good service. The
Town is regularly laid ont, and built of "Wood mostly, divided into Streets and Squares ;
before the Town is the Parade, and a Fort not yet finish'd. It is situated upon a very
high Bluff, or Point of Land, from whence, Avith a few cannon, they can scour the River,
otherwise it is surrounded by Pine-barrens, and Woods, and there is a Rout by Land to
Savannah and Fort Argyle, which is statedly reconnoitred by a Troop of Highland Rangers
who do duty here. The Company and Troop, armed in the Highland manner, make an
extreme good appearance under arms. The whole Settlement may be said to be a brave
and indtistrious People ; but were more numerous, planted more, and raised more cattle
before the Invasion, with which they drove a good Trade to the Southward ; but Things
seem daily mending with them. They are forc'd to keep a very good G-uard in this
Place, it lies so open to the Insults of the French and Spanish Indians, who once or twice
have shewn Stragiers some very bloody Tricks." t Page 551.
t Samuel Cloake, — who was a prisoner on board the "Pretty Nancy " taken by the
Spaniards from, the English, and fitted out for the invasion of G-eorgia, — made oath that
during the time they lay off the bar the Spaniards often " whetted their swords and held
their knives to this deponent's and other English prisoners' throats, saying they would
cut the throats of those they should take at Georgia."
Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, pp. 342, 343. London, 1748.
isteiice tlie Euglisli colonies. Had success attended the
demonstration against Frederica, the Enemy would
have advanced upon the more northern strong-holds.
Appreciating this, and deeply sensible of their great
obligations to General Oglethorpe for the deliver-
ance vouchsafed at his hands, the Governors of New
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and
North Carolina, ^'' addressed special letters to him " thank-
ing him for the invaluable services he had rendered to
the British- American Provinces ; congratulating him upon
his success and the great renown he had acquired ; and
expressing their gratitude to the Supreme Governor of
Nations for placing the destiny of the southern colo-
nies under the direction of a General so well qualified
for the important trust."
Upon the disappearance of the Spanish forces Ogle-
thorpe at once bent his energies to strengthening the
fortifications at Frederica and repairing the damages
which had been sustained by the southern forts. For
a long time he seems to have counted upon a return
of the expedition, and could not bring his mind to believe
that the enterprise upon which so much preparation and
money had been expended would be thus hastily and
almost causelessly abandoned. Within a few months
the works upon St. Simons, Jekyll, and Cumberland
islands were stronger than ever. What those additional
defensive works at Frederica were, we shall shortly see.
Not content with having repulsed the Spaniards in
their effort to crush the colony, General Oglethorpe was
soon again engaged in " carrying the war into Africa."
* The governor of South Carolina did not unite in these congratulations and thanks ;
but the people of Port Eoyal did, much to his chagrin.
118 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Finding the enemy so strong in St. Augustine that they
defeated all the parties of Indians he sent against
them, ascertaining that a large detachment was march-
ing towards the river St. Mattheo, and concluding that
this was a movement to extend their quarters so as
to be prepared for the proper location and accommo-
dation of reinforcements expected from Havana in the
spring, taking with him a considerable body of Creek
warriors, a detachment fi'om the Highland company of
Eangers, and a portion of his regiment, Oglethorpe
landed by night in Florida in March, 1743, and, mov-
ing rapidly, drove the enemy, with loss, within the
lines of St. Augustine. Having disposed his command
in ambush, the General, with a small party, advanced
within sight of the town, intending to skirmish and
draw the garrison out. The enemy declined to leave
their fortifications f- and the English, being too weak to
attack, and having compelled the Spaniards to abandon
their advanced posts in Florida, returned, having per-
formed the extraordinary march of ninety-six miles in
four days.t This was the last expedition led by the
General against the Spaniards. J
Still persuaded that the attack upon Frederica would
be renewed at an early day, he continued to place the
* In tlie language of General Oglethorpe, " they were so rneeJc there was no provoking them."
+ See General Oglethorpe's letters of the 12th and 21st of March, 1743. Collections of .
the Georgia Historical Society, vol. m, pp. 149, 151. Savannah, 1873.
London Magazine for 1743, vol. xii, pp. 356, 357.
London Gazette, July 9, 1743.
+ This demonstration had the eftect of restraining the Enemy within the lines of St.
Augustine; and the active cruizing of the English Guard Schooner and Scout Boats held
in check the privateers which were in the habit of annoying the navigation to the south-
ward. " In fine," writes a Charles-Towu merchant to his correspondent in London, un-
der date August 10, 1743, " Georgia is a Gibraltar to this Province and North America, how-
ever insignificant some People may make it."
London Magazine for 1743, vol. xn, p. 567.
frontier in the best possible state of defense. Until he
left Georgia on the 23d of July, 1743, never again to
return, he resided at his cottage on St. Simons island.
Of all the places planted and nurtured by him, none
so warmly enlisted his energies and engaged his constant
solicitude as the fortified town at the mouth of the
Upon the General's departure, William Stephens
was left as Deputy General of the Colony, and Major
Horton, as military commander at Frederica. With the
civil matters of the province Major Horton had no
concern except where his assistance, as commander in
chief of the military, was occasionally invoked to enforce
the measures of the president and council. In such
instances he acted with calmness and humanity, and se-
cured the respect and esteem of the better class of the
On the 22nd of March, 1743, the magazine at Fred-
erica was blown up, to the general alarm and regret
of the inhabitants. Although it contained, at the time,
three thousand bombs, so well bedded were they, but
little damage occurred. A vagabond Irishman was sus-
pected of having fired the magazine.^"
We have two descriptions of Frederica in 1743, — the
period of its greatest prosperity and importance, — which
we make no apology for transcribing.
The first is from the lips of a captain conversant
with the appearance and condition of the town.
Captain John Mac Clellan, who had left Georgia
on the 31st of January, 1743, on his arrival in England
* See McCall's Georgia, vol. i, p. 203. Savannah, 1811.
Gentleman's Magazine for llii, vol. xiv, p. 393.
London Magazine tor 174i, vol. xiii, p. 359.
120 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
reported the colonists busily engaged in placing them-
selves in the best posture of defense, in anticipation of
a second attack from the Spaniards ; that Fort William
had been fortified anew with brick work, and that
" great numbers of Men were employ' d in compleating
the Fortifications at Frederica, the Walls whereof are
judged strong enough to be Proof against Eighteen-
Pound Shot ;" that two towers, — one at each corner of
the town walls, — capable of holding one hundred men
each, and designed to protect the flanks by means of small
arms, had been erected; that the men were "full of spirits
and unanimous to make a vigorous Defence to the last
Drop of Blood;" that General Oglethorpe had been rein-
forced by two hundred men fi'om Virginia, raised by Major
Heron, many of whom were disciplined soldiers from
Colonel Gouge's late regiment, and that thirty horsemen
were on their way to Georgia to "recruit the Rangers."^'
The second is from the pen of an intelligent traveler,
who made his observations early in 1743. It reads as
" Frederica, on the Island of St. Simon, the chief Town
in the Southernmost Part of the Colony of Georgia, is
nearly in Lat: 31° 15^ North. It stands on an Eminence,
if consider'd with regard to the Marshes before it, upon
a Branch of the famous Biver AlatamaJia, which washes
the West side of this agreeable little Island, and, after
several Windings, disembogues itself into the Sea at JeJcyl
Sound. It forms a kind of a Bay before the Town, and
is navigable for Vessels of the largest Burden, which may
lie along the wharf in a secure and safe Harbour ; and
may, upon Occasion, haul up to careen and refit, the Bot-
■ London Magazine for 1743, vol. xn, p.
torn being a soft oozy Clay, intermix' d with small Sand
and Shells. The Town is defended by a pretty strong
Fort of Tappy/'^ which has several 18 Pounders mounted
on a Eavelin in its Front, and commands the River both
upwards and downwards ; and is surrounded by a quad-
rangular Rampart, with 4 Bastions, of Earth, well stock-
aded and turfed, and a palisadoed Ditch which include
also the King's Storehouses, (in which are kept the Arsenal,
the Court of Justice, and Chapel) two large and spacious
Buildings of Brick and Timber ; On the Rampart are
mounted a considerable Quantity of Ordnance of several
sizes. The Town is surrounded by a Rampart, with Flank-
ers, of the same Thickness with that round the Fort, in
Form of a Pentagon, and a dry Ditch ; and since the
famous attempt of the Spaniards in July 1742,t at the
N. E. and S. E. Angles are erected two strong cover'd
pentagonal Bastions, capable of containing 100 men each,
to scour the Flanks with Small Arms, and defended by a
Number of Cannon ; At their Tops are Look-outs which
command the Yiew of the Country and the River for
many miles : The Roofs are shingled,:]: but so contriv'd
as to be easily clear'd away, if incommodious in the De-
fense of the Towers. The whole Circumference of the
Town is about a Mile and a Half, including, within the
Fortifications, the Camp for General Ogletliorpes Regiment,
at the North Side of the Town ; the Parades on the West,
and a small Wood to the South, which, is left for Conve-
* A mixture of lime made of Ojster-shells, with Sand, Small Shells, &c., which, when
harden'd, is as firm as Stone. I have observ'd prodigious Quantities of Salt Petre to
issue from Walls of this Cement.
tSee Lond: Mag: 1742, p. 401. 515, 516, 5G7.
+ Shingles are split out of many Sorts of Wood, in the shape of Tiles, which, when they
have been some Time expos'd to the Weather, appear of the Colour of Slate, and have a
very pretty Look ; the Houses in America are mostly Shingled.
122 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
niency of Fuel and Pasture, and is an excellent Blind to
the Enemy in case of an Attack ; in it is a small Magazine
of Powder. The Town has two Gates, call'd the Land-
port, and the Water -port : next to the latter of which is
the Guard-house, and underneath it the Prison for Malefac-
tors, which is an handsome Building of Brick. At the
North End are the Barracks, which is an extremely well
contriv'd Building in Form of a Square, of Tap23y work,
in which, at present, are kept the Hospital, and Spanish
Prisoners of War : Near this was situated the Bomb Maga-
zine which was blown up on March 22, 1744,^ with so
surprizingly little Damage. t
" The town is situated in a large Indian Field. To
the East it has a very extensive Savannah (wherein is
the Burial Place) thro' which is cut a Road to the
other Side of the Island, which is bounded by Woods,
save here and there some opening Glades into the
Neighboring Savannah's and Marshes, which much elu-
cidate the Pleasure of looking. Down this Road are
several very commodious Plantations, particularly the
very agreeable one of Capt. Demery, and that of Mr.
Hawhins. Pre-eminently appears Mr. Oglethorpe s Settle-
ment, which, at Distance, looks like a neat Country
Village, where the consequences of all the various In-
dustries of an ELtropean Farm are seen. The Master
of it has shewn what Application and unbated Dili-
gence ma}^ effect in this Country. At the Extremity
of the Road is a small Yillage, call'd the German Vil-
lage, inhabited by several Families of Saltzhurghers, who
plant and fish for their Subsistence. On the River Side
* See Lond. Mag: 1744. p. 359.
1 1 have been told tliat in this Explosion near 3,000 Bombs burst, which, had they not
been well bedded, wonld have done mnch Mischief.
one has tlie Prospect of a large Circuit of Mcirslies,
terminated by the Woods on the Continent, in Form
Hke an Amphitheatre, and interspers'd with the Mean-
ders of abundance of Creeks, form'd from the aforesaid
Eiver. At a Distance may be seen the white Post at
Bachelor s Redoubt, also on the Main, where is kept a
good Look-out of Rangers. To the North are Marshes,
and a small Wood, at the Western Extremity of which
are the Plantations of the late Capt. Beshrisay, and
some others of less note; together with a Look-out
wherein a Corporal's Guard is stationed, and reliev'd
weekly, called Pikes, on the Bank of the River, from
whence they can see Vessels a great way to the North-
ward. On the South is a Wood, which is, however, so
far clear'd as to discover the Approach of an Enemy
at a great Distance ; within it, to the Eastward, is the
Plantation of Capt. Dunhar : and to the Westward a
Corporal's Look-out. The Town is divided into several
spacious Streets, along whose sides are planted Orange
Trees,^ which, in some Time, will have a very pretty
Effect on the View, and will render the Town pleasingly
shady. Some Houses are built entirely of Brick, some
of Brick and Wood, some few of Tappy-Work, but most
of the meaner sort, of Wood only. The Camp is also
divided into several Streets, distinguished by the names
of the Captains of the several Companies of the Regi-
ment ; and the Huts are built generally of Clap-boards
and Palmetto's, and are each of them capable to con-
tain a Family, or Half a Dozen Single men. Here
* The luliabitants begin to plant this charming Friiit very much, and 'tis to be hop'd
will banish their numerous Peach Trees to their Country Settlements, which are Nurseries
oiMusJceltos and other Vermin. The Season I was there, they had Oranges enough of their
own Growth for Home Consumption.
124 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
these brave Fellows live with the most laudable (Econ-
omy ; and tho' most of them when off Duty, practise some
Trade or Employment, they make as fine an Appearance
upon the Parade, as any Regiment in the King's Service •
and their exact Discipline does a great deal of Honour
to their Officers ; They have a Market every Day ; The
Inhabitants of the Town may be divided into Officers,
Merchants, Store-Keepers, Artisans, and People in the
Provincial Service ; and there are often, also, many So-
journers fi'om the neighbouring Settlements, and from Neiv
York, Philadelphia, and Carolina, on account of Trade.
The Civil Government does not seem yet to be quite rightly
settled by the Trustees, but is, at present, administered by
three Magistrates, or Justices, assisted by a Recorder, Con-
stables, and Tything Men. The Military is regulated as
in all Garrison-Towns in the British Dominions. In short,
the whole Town, and Country adjacent, are quite rurally
charming, and the Improvements everywhere around are
Footsteps of the greatest Skill and Industry imaginable,
considering its late Settlement, and the Rubs it has so often
met with ; and as it seems so necessary for the Barrier
of our Colonies, I am in Hopes of, one Time, seeing it
taken more Notice of than it is at present."^
For the ensuing few years, and during the retention of
Oglethorpe's regiment on St. Simons island, but little
change occurred in the condition of Frederica. It retained
its importance as a military post, and was regarded as
the safe guard of the Province against Spanish invasion.
The expectations, if indeed any were seriously entertained,
* This was written in tlie beginning of 1743.
See London Magazine for 1745, vol. xiv, pp. 395, 396.
Compare notice in " The North-American and the West-Indian Gazetteer." London,
of elevating this town into commercial importance, were
practically abandoned previous to the withdrawal of the
troops. In fact, even before the existing difficulties with
Spain were formally accommodated by treaty, and it
became manifest that there would in all likelihood occur
no further serious demonstrations along the southern
frontier, the population of Frederica began to decrease.
The home authorities, however, were loth to acknowl-
edge its manifest tendency fco decadence, and for some
time, by occasional reports and notices, endeavored to
assure the public of the continued prosperity of a town
which had attracted such special attention in connection
with the progress and perils of the Colony of Georgia.
An article having appeared in the " Daily Gazetteer "
giving "a most scandalous and untrue account of the
present state of the Colony of Georgia, particularly levelled
at the Southern Part thereof (which is the Frontier against
the French and Spaniards)" in justice to the public, William
Thomson and John Lawrence, Jr., who had been trading
vdtli the Colony for some years and who had left Georgia
in June, 1747, on business calling them to England, united in
a card to the editor of the London Magazine"^ in which
they stated : " That instead of the false Representation
in the said Gazetteer ' That only seven Houses were in the
Town of Irederica,' the said Town has several Streets, in
every one of which are many good Houses, some of Brick,
some of Tappy (which is a Cement of Lime and Oyster
Shells ;) That the High Street is planted with Orange
Trees and has good Houses on both sides. That the Fort,
besides other Buildings has two large Magazines, three
Stories high, and sixty Feet long ; That there are Bar-
* Volume XVI, p. iM.
126 THE DEAD TOWNS OF aEORGIA.
racks in the Town, on the North side, ninety Feet Square,
built of Tappy, covered with Cypress Shingles, and a hand-
some Tower over the Gateway of twenty Feet square ;
That there are two Bastion Towers, of two stories each,
in the Hollow of the Bastions, defended on the Outside
with thick Earth-works, and capable of lodging great Num-
bers of Soldiers, the two long Sides being nearly fifty Feet,
and the short Sides twenty-five ; And that instead of the
Inhabitants removing from thence, several Famihes were
come and more coming from North Carolina to settle in
Georgia, who will certainly establish themselves there unless
they are prevented by any Fears which may arise from
the Reduction of the Rangers and Vessels which have
hitherto made that Frontier safe : That before the Bar-
racks were finished, very good Clap-board Huts were built
sufficient for the lodging of two Companies who do Duty
at Frederica (with their Wives and Families) which by an
Accident of Fire were lately burnt down ; since which others
have been made for married Soldiers ; and the Soldiers
have the Privilege of cutting Timber and building Houses
for their Families, which many have done, and thrive very
well, and we know the Soldiers are regularly paid and
kindly treated. We also certify that there are several
Farms which produce not only Indian Wheat and Potatoes,
but English Wheat, Barley, and other Grain. In short,
Provisions in general are plentiful, Yenison, Beef, Pork, at
Two Pence Half-Penny per Pound, and sometimes under.
Fish extremely cheap."
Upon the confirmation of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle
in April, 1748, most of the troops were withdrawm from
St. Simons island and the fortifications soon began to
fall into decav.
The Trustees having surrendered their charter, Captain
John Reynolds was, in 1754, appointed by the King,
Governor of Georgia, Avith the title of "Captain General
and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Province of
Georgia, and Vice-Admiral of the same." He entered
upon his duties in October of that year, and early, the
following Spring, made a tonr of inspection through the
southern portion of the Province. Arriving at Frederica,
he found the town "in ruins," the fortifications "decayed,"
and the " houses falling down." Twenty pieces of can-
non were lying dismounted and "spoiled for want of care."
The melancholy prospect was presented of " houses without
inhabitants, barracks without soldiers, guns without car-
riages, and streets grown over with weeds."" Fort Frederick
was entirely dismantled. Not a gun was mounted, and
neither powder nor ball could be found. Among his re-
commendations for the defense of the Colony, the Gov-
ernor suggested the construction of a work at Frederica
"in the form of half a hexagon, nine hundred and sixty
feet each, with two whole and two demi-bastions towards
the land, and two demi-bastions and a citadel towards
the sea, on which were to be placed fifty cannon manned
by three hundred regulars." This fortification was never
built, and no effort was made to repair the works then
crumbling and abandoned.
This dilapidation and neglect continued without any
effort on the part of the Colonial authorities to check their
annihilating influences. Frederica had now ceased to be
a place of any note. In his report of the condition of the
Province of Georgia, submitted to the Earl of Dartmouth on
*A destructive fire had consumed nearly all the lioiises whicli time liad spared.
See Stevens' History of G-eorgia, vol. i, p. 446. New York, 1847.
128 THE DEA.D TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
the 20tli of December, 1773, Sir James Wright, then Gov-
ernor of the Colony, represents Forfc Frederick at Frederica
as "going to decay very fast." "There is still," — such is the
language of the rej3ort, — "some Remains of good Tabby
Walls, (fee, but there has been no men there since the
Independent Company were broke in the Year 1767.""^
In March, 1774, William Bartram visited Frederica and
St. Simons island and was most hospitably entertained
by Mr. James Sj^alding who was there engaged in an ex-
tensive trade with the Indian tribes of East Florida. Fol-
lowing the old highway across the savannah, he devoted
a day to exploring the island and was charmed with the
magnificent forests of pines and oaks perfumed with the
fragrant breath of the white lily and the sweet bay. The
venerable hve-oaks still overshadowed the spacious avenue
leading to the former seat of General Oglethorpe, but that
distinguished gentleman was no longer there, and his quiet
cottage had passed into the ownership of another. The
dehghts of the woods and waters, the delicious breezes
wafted from groves fiUed with birds of bright plumage
and sweet voices, the commingled perfumes of the yellow
jasmine, the lonicera, the audromeda and the azalea, and
the solemn sound of the incoming surf were, in the re-
collection of this happy traveller, associated with generous
hospitahty, a plentiful repast of venison, and an agreeable
" drink of honey and water strengthened by the addition
Although natui'e was as balmy, as attractive, and as
beautiful as ever, Bartram was oppressed by the indica-
tions of desolation which confronted him all over the island.
He speaks of " vestiges oi plantations, ruins of costly build-
* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, pp. 168, 169, Savannah, 1873.
ings, and highways overgrown with forests." The fort he
found entirely dilapidated, and nothing of the town remain-
ing except ruins. From the crumbling walls of the deserted
houses peach trees, figs, and pomegranates were growing.^
And so this brave town dwindled away into nothingness.
The last detachment of troops stationed there consisted of
ten Royal Americans ; but even these were withdrawn
during the early part of the administration of Governor
The rui3ture between Great Britain and her Colonies
being imminent, the Council of Safety ordered all guns
at Frederica to be secured, and they were used in for-
tifying other points on the coast deemed of greater im-
portance. During the progress of the expedition pro-
jected from Sunbury, by Governor Gwinnett, against
Florida, Colonel Elbert, who was in command, on Sun-
day, the 11th of May, 1777, landed at Frederica "to air"
his troops. The following entry occurs in his Order-
Book : "Frederica was once a pretty little Town, as ap-
pears by the Ruins, having been burned down some years
since ; the Fort at this place, with a little expence, might
be made defensible, and might, if properly garrisoned,
be a means of protecting great part of our Southern Fron-
tiers. There are about twelve men that bear arms here;
in my opinion all Tories. Their Captain, Ditter, says
otherwise of himself, and informed me that about 6 or 8
of the inhabitants had lately gone to Florida for protec-
By the provisions of the act of the 15th of March,
1758,t dividing the Province into eight Parishes, " the
* Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., pp. 55-60. London, 1792.
t MS. Order-Book of Col. S. Elbert.
+ Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 151. »
130 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
town and district of Frederica, including the islands of
Great and Little St. Simons and the adjacent islands,"
were declared a parish and named " St. James." Un-
der the writs of election issued by Sir James Wright,
Lachlan Mcintosh was returned as member for Frederica.
On the 10th of August, 1777, some boats from a Brit-
ish armed vessel lying in St. Andrews Sound landed
cm. St. Simons island, and their crews captured and car-
ried away Captain Arthur Carney, five citizens, several
negroes, and as much household furniture as could be
conveyed in the barges. Carney had been appointed to
the captaincy of the fourth company in the first Conti-
nental Battalion of Georgia troops. After his capture, he
espoused the Royal cause and proved himself not only
an active Tory but a great cattle thief. "^^
While General Eobert Howe was concentrating his
forces on the Southern frontier of Georgia with a view
to the invasion of Florida, Colonel Elbert, who was com-
manding at Fort Howe, — the place of rendezvous, —
achieved an exploit which imparts another distinct and
gallant memory to the neglected settlements, " Where
wild Altama murmurs to their woe."
The details of the affair are thus narrated in a let-
ter to General Howe :
" Frederica, April 19th, 1778.
" Dear General :
"I have the happiness to inform you that about 10
o'clock this forenoon, the brigantine Hinchinbrooke, the
sloop Rebecca, and a prize brig, all struck the British
tyrant's colors and surrendered to the American arms.
" Having received intelligence that the above vessels
* See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 131, 132. Savannah, 1811.
FEEDEBICA. / 131
were at this place, I put about three hundred men, by
detachment from the troops under my command at Fort
Howe, on board the three galleys, the Washington-
Captain Hardy, — the Lee, — Captain Braddock, — and the
Bulloch, — Captain Hutcher;— and a detachment of artil-
lery with two field pieces, under Captain Young, I put
on board a boat. With this httle army we embarked
at Darien, and last evening effected a landing at a bluff
about a mile below the town, leaving Colonel White on
board the Lee, Captain Melvin on board the Washing-
ton, and Lieutenant Petty on board the Bulloch, each
with a sufficient party of troops. Immediately on land-
ing I dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Ray and Major Rob-
erts, with about one hundred men, who marched directly
up to the town and made prisoners three marines and two
sailors belonging to the Hinchinbrooke.
"It being late, the galleys did not engage until this
morning. You must imagine what my feelings were to
see our three little men-of-war going on to the attack of
these three vessels, who have spread terror on our coast,
and who were drawn up in order of battle ; but the
weight of our metal soon damped the courage of these
heroes, who soon took to their boats ; and as many as
could, abandoned the vessel with everything on board,
of which we immediately took possession. What is ex-
traordinary, we have not one man hurt. Captain Ellis,
of the Hinchinbrooke, is drowned, and Captain Mow-
bray, of the Rebecca, made his escape. As soon as I
see Colonel White, who has not yet come to us with his
prizes, I shall consult with him, the three other officers,
and the comanding officers of the galleys, on the expe-
diency of attacking the Galatea now lying at Jekyll."
132 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
While Colonel Elbert was preparing to attack her, the
Galatea made her escape to sea."^ This successful enter-
prize encouraged the troops at Fort Howe, who were in
a very dispirited mood.
Upon his retreat, by water, from Sunbury in Decem-
ber, 1778, Fuser left the regular troops of his expedition
at Frederica, with instructions to repair the old military
works at that point. These orders were only partially ob-
served, and the force was soon withdrawn.
During the continuance of the Revolutionary war St.
Simons island, in common with other isolated localities
along the Georgia coast, suffered from privateers and
armed parties who pillaged the houses of the inhabitants
and led captive negroes and domestic animals. Similar
annoyances and losses were encountered during the war
of 1812-1815. So ruthless had been the spoliations and
devastations by the British troops during the progress of
the Revolution, that upon its termination but little re-
mained of Frederica save the sites of burnt houses and
heaps of ruin. The town had almost entirely disappeared.
Subsequent attempts to revive it were feeble and unsuc-
cessful. Of the State legislation with regard to Frederica,
the following synopsis may not be deemed inappropriate :
On the 17th of December, 1792, James Spalding, John
Braddock, Raymond Demere, John Palmer, John Bur-
nett, John Piles, Moses Burnett, Samuel Wright, and
William Williams were appointed Commissioners of the
towns and commons of Frederica and Brunswick. They
were directed, after three months' published notice, to
*See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. n, pp. 137-139. Savannah, 1811.
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 161-162. Philadelpliia, 1859.
White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 468. New York, 1855.
cause surveys to be made of those towns, according to
their original plans, and to have the same recorded in
the Surveyor General's office, and in the office of the
Surveyor of Glynn county. Any vacant lots, except such
as were originally reserved for public uses, were then to
be sold upon four weeks' public notice ; and the proceeds
arising from such sales, after deducting the necessary
expense of survey, devoted to the building and support
of an Academy in Glynn County.'^
In February, 1796, special Commissioners were named
for the town of Frederica. They were John Cooper, Wil-
liam Mcintosh, James Harrison, James Moore, and Wil-
liam Clubbs. It was made their duty to lay off the
town, as nearly as practicable, according to its original
plan, cause the streets to be opened, the lots to be
plainly marked or staked off, the commons to be re-
surveyed, and an accurate map prepared and recorded
in the Surveyor General's office within two months
after the passage of the act. The survey of the town
having been completed, the Commissioners were required,
by notice in one of the public gazettes of the State, to
call upon the owners and holders of lots to make due
return thereof to the Commissioners within nine months,
and pay the sum of one dollar per lot in defrayal of the
cost of the survey.
All lots not returned within the prescribed period were,
after six weeks public advertisement, to be sold to the
highest bidder, — one half of the purchase money to be paid
in cash and the remainder in twelve months thereafter ; —
the deferred payment being secured by bond with mortgage
on the premises purchased. The proceeds of such sales,
* Watkins' Digest, p. 470.
134 THE DEAD TOWNS OF QEOEGIA.
after defraying the expences incurred in laying off the
town and commons, were to be applied to the support of
an academy or seminary of learning in Glynn County.
Any person attempting to run up or appropriate any
part of the town common was declared liable to a fine of
five hundred dollars, to be recovered in the Superior Court
of Glynn County by the Commissioners or any inhabitant
or lot owner in the town ; — -one half the fine to enure to
the benefit of the academy, and the other half to go to
the party suing for the same.
All surveys previously made, and grants surreptitiously
obtained, were declared nuU and void, and any person in
possession by virtue of such survey or grant was liable to
the fine above mentioned, to be recovered in the manner
In 1801 Frederica is mentioned by Sibbald as " a pleas-
antly situated town on the island of St. Simons, latitude
31° 15^ North," but he gives no statistics either of its popu-
lation or commerce. t
By an act assented to November 26th, 1802,J — the front
range of lots in the town of Frederica being "too distant
from the water for the convenient storage or shipping of
produce, or the landing of goods imported to that place," —
the Commissioners were empowered "to cause a range of
lots to be laid off in front of said town, commencing at
low water mark, and running back so far as to leave a street
eighty feet between the present front range of lots and
those to be laid off."
These new lots were to be sold at public outcry upon
* Watkins' Digest, pp. 598, 599.
t "Notes and Observations on the Pine Lands of Georgia," &c. Augusta, 1801.
t Clayton's Digest, p. 63.
sixty days' notice, and the moneys realized upon such sale^
after defraying the expences of the survey, were to be
paid over to the Commissioners of the Academy of Glynn
county to be by them expended for the benefit of that
Two correct plans of these water lots were to be prepared
and certified by the surveyor, one to be transmitted by
the Commissioners to the Surveyor General for record in
his office, and the other to be delivered to the County
Surveyor of Glynn county to be by him recorded in his
On the 18th of November, 1814,^ the Commissioners of
the towns of Brunswick and Frederica were authorized
to leyj a tax upon the lots in those towns, whether im-
proved or unimproved, and pay over the moneys thus raised
to the Justices of the Inferior Court of Glynn county
for the purpose of erecting a Court House and Jail. To
the same object was to be appHed one-fourth of the future
rents of the town commons.
All efforts to revivify the dead town, to perpetuate some-
thing like a corporate existence, to reahze a revenue by
special taxation of abandoned premises, to maintain a
semblance of public streets, commons, and private lots,
to clothe water fronts with the dignity of commercial
wharves, and transmit the physical impressions of the older
days, proved utterly futile. t Frederica lost its importance
when it ceased to be the strong-hold of the southern fron-
tier. Its mission was accomplished when the Spaniard
no longer threatened. Its doom was pronounced in the
* Lamar's Digest, pp. 902, 978.
t Alluding to Frederica, in 1829, Sherwoodt says : " The Fort is gone to decay, but tliere
are ten houses in the village."
t Gazetteer of Georgia, p. 111.
136 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
hour of its triumpli. Upon the withdrawal of Oglethorpe's
regiment its decadence began, and ceased not until its
fort became a white ruin, its public parade a pasture ground,
and its streets and gardens a cotton field.^
Omnia dehentur morti.
* Frances Anne Kemble, who visited Frederica in the spring of 1839, thus records her
impressions of the deserted spot : " This Frederica is a very strange place ; it was once a
town, — tlie. town, the metropolis of the island. The English, when they landed on the
coast of Georgia in the war, destroyed this tiny place, and it has never been built iip
again. Mrs. A.'s and one other house, are the only dwellings that remain in this curious
wilderness of dismantled crumbling gray walls compassionately cloaked with a thousand
profuse and graceful creepers. These are the only ruins, properly so called, except those
of Fort Putnam, that I have ever seen in this land of contemptuous youth. I hailed
these picturesque groups and masses with the feelings of a Europ.ean, to whom ruins are
like a sort of relations. In my country, ruins are like a minor chord in music: here they
are like a discord ; they are not the relics of time, but the results of violence ; they re-
call no valuable memories of a remote past, and are mere encumbrances to the busy
present. Evidently they are out of place in America except on St. Simon's island, between
this savage selvage of civilization and the great Atlantic deep. These heaps of rubbish
and roses would have made the fortune of a sketcher ; but I imagine the snakes have it
all to themselves here, and are undisturbed by camp-stools, white umbrellas, and ejacula-
tory young ladies."
Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation, &c., p. 285. New York, 1863.
On a creek or branch of the Savannah, distant some
three miles from its confluence with that riyer, and
about fifteen miles above the town of Savannah, the vil-
lage of Abercorn was located in 1733. Its original set-
tlement consisted of ten families. The plan of the town
embraced twelve lots, ^dth two trust lots in addition, —
one on either extremity. Old Ebenezer was ten miles
to the west ; and four miles below the mouth of Aber-
corn creek, was Joseph's Town, where two Scotch gen-
tlemen had selected plantations on the right bank of the
Savannah. Journeying towards Savannah, in the early
days of the Colony, the visitor would encounter suc-
cessively Sir Francis Bathurst's plantation, Walter Au-
gustin's settlement. Captain Williams' plantation, Mrs.
Matthews' place, the Indian School -house Irene, the
Horse Quarter, and the Indian lands reserved just out-
side the limits of Yamacraw. A strange fatality attend-
ed all these early attempts at colonization. Born of the
subjugation of the forests, were malarial fevers and fluxes
which engendered lassitude and death. Short lived were
these httle settlements, and it was only upon the intro-
duction of slave labor that these plantations bordering
upon the Savannah became permanent and productive.
The white men who strove to bring them into a state
of cultivation failed in the effort and quickly passed
away. Others, who endeavored to complete their labors,
encountered similar misfortune and disappointment.
138 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
The ten families who were assigned to Abercorn in
1733 were all gone in 1737. That year Mr. John Bro-
die, with tw^elye servants, occupied the settlement ; but,
after three years, he abandoned the place, leading its
improvements to ruin and decay. Most of the thirty servants
who cultivated the lands of the Scotch gentlemen at
Joseph's Town died, and that plantation lapsed into neglect.
The Saltzburgers who came to Georgia under the conduct ■
of Baron Yon Reck and the Rev'd Mr. Bolzius, in passing
from Savannah to Old Ebenezer, w^ere sheltered and re-
freshed at Abercorn. To that place their baggage was
brought by water, and for some time all their supplies were
delivered at that point whence they w^ere carried, at much
pains, up Ebenezer creek and through the woods. Before
long, however, a road was cut from Abercorn to Old Ebenezer
which facilitated the transportation. While at Abercorn the
Saltzburgers suffered much fi^om affections of the bow^els.
Various efforts were made by the Trustees to increase
the population and ensure the prosperity of Abercorn, —
which w^as regarded as a convenient point for communi-
cating with the Carolina settlements on the Savannah
river; — but they all eventuated in disappointment. Such
of the colonists as were sent there from time to time grew
sick and tired of the abode, took no interest in its advance-
ment, and abandoned it upon the earliest opportunity. The
little life which this small place enjoyed was insignificant
and without moment in the history of the Colony.
In December, 1739, Mr. Stephens visited the town in
company with Mr. Jones, to inspect a large ferry-boat
which, in obedience to General Oglethorpe's orders, had
been there constructed by one Bunyon, — a boat-builder by
trade, and an inhabitant of the town. This boat was ca-
pable of transporting nine or ten horses at a time, and
was intended to ply between Abercorn and Palacliocolas.
In perpetuating bis impressions of the place Mr. Stephens
says : "As there was no Place in the whole Province, of the
like Allotment of fifty acres each, which in my eye seemed
so desirable, being a most pleasant Situation on the Banks
of such a Eiver, with as good Land belonging to each Lot,
as is readily to be. found in most Parts of the Province ; I
never saw it but with Eegret, that there never yet had been
a number of Settlers there deserving it ; but generally they
happened to be loose, idle People, who after some short
Abode, wandered elsewhere and left it : * "^ ^ and there
are at present five Families only remaining there, nor has
there often been more at one Time. As the Trust-Lands
seem to be now in some better way of cultivating by their
own Servants, than hitherto ; I proposed it to Mr. Jones
to send down a few Gerynan families to work on the Trust-
Lots there ; which, by helping to fill the Place, very prob-
ably might induce others the sooner to occupy Lands there
also : He agreed with me in Opinion, and said he would
write of it to the General."-
It is very questionable whether this opinion of Mr.
Stephens, — formed during the winter, — of the desirableness
of this locality, would have been confirmed by a residence
there amid the heats and miasmatic influences of the summer
and fall. Some Germans did settle in the neighborhood
and cultivate the soil, but all efforts to promote the pros-
perity of the \T.llage and elevate it into the dignity of a
town utterly failed. Like Joseph's Town and Westbrook,
Abercorn is little more than a name in the history of the
Colony. In the end it passed into the hands of two English
* A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, &c., vol. ii, pp. 215, 216. London, 174:2.
140 THE DEAD TOWNS OP GEORGIA.
gentlemen wlio converted the village into a plantation
cultivated with slave labor. So it continued under various
owners until, bv the result of the civil war, the negro has
been liberated, and the fortunes of this region have become
more unpromising than ever before.
After the capture of Savannah in December, 1778, Colonel
Campbell advanced a strong force to this place as a con-
venient base for future operations against the interior of
the State ; and hence, in 1779, did a British detachment
move, crossing over to Purysburg and attempting to surprise
General Moultrie at Black-swam]D.
The town had so entirely faded fi-om the face of the
earth that its location is not indicated on that admirable
map of South Carolina and Georgia, published by William
Faden at Charing Cross in 1780 : — and the only mention
made by White is as follows : " Abercorn, sixteen miles from
Savannah, was a noted place in the early settlement of Geor-
gia. No memorial of its former condition can now be seen."
Savannah, increasing her borders, practically claims as
part of herself the Indian lands opposite the northern end
of Hutchinson island. Of the Horse Quarter nothing
remains. Joseph's Town long ago lost its identity ; and
Abercorn, New Ebenezer, Purisburg, and Palachocolas, have,
within the recollection of more than one generation, been
known simply as boat-landings on the water-highway be-
tween Savannah and Augusta.^
* Tor notices of Abercorn, see —
"An Extract of the Journals of Mr. Commissary Von Beck, &c., and of the Reverend
Mr. Bolzius," pp. 18, 20, 51, 66, 69. London, 1734.
"An Accoimt Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, in America," &c., p. 35.
Stephens' " Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia," &:c., vol. i, p. 230. Vol. n, pp. 215,
216. London, 1742.
"An Extract of the Rev. Mr. John Wesley's Journal," &c. p. 60. Bristol, n. d.
"A State of the Province of Georgia, attested upon oath," &c., p. 5. London, 1742.
" A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia," &c., by Tailfer, Ander-
son, and Douglas, p. 108. Charles-Town, 1741.
e/arcs^ o/^ ify" c/o^y?^.
JHan ofi^ Jowm of (Sun^il^ ^_ Coj^/ainrnf 3 ^3 O feed m,^?7^^J}cm-tAo;CA /ocJgi
On the 23rd of January, 1734, Mr. Oglethorpe, accom-
panied by Captain Ferguson and sixteen attendants, —
inchiding two Indians, — set out from Savannah in an
open row-boat, followed by a yawl carrying provisions
and ammunition, upon an exploratory expedition to the
Southern frontiers of Georgia/^ His course lay through
the inner passages, and was pursued as far as St Simons
island. For the protection of the Colony it was then
determined to form a military station and settlement
near the mouth of the Alatamaha ; and, — as an outpost
and barrier against Spanish invasion, — to erect a strong
fort on the high bluff on the western side of St. Simons
island. These sites were shortly afterwards occupied and
fortified, and were respectively named New Inverness and
Frederica. It was during this reconnoissance that the
eyes of the Founder of Georgia first rested upon that
bold and beautiful bluff which, overlooking the placid
waters of Midway river and the intervening low-lying
salt marshes, descries in the distance the green woods of
Bermuda island, the dim outline of the southern point
of Ossabaw, and, across the sound, the white shores of
St. Catherine. Although formal session had been made
by the Lower Creeks of all lands along the sea-coast
* See Memoir of General James Oglethorpe by Eobert Wright, p. 74. London, 1857.
142 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
from the Savannali to the Alatamaha river, extending
westward as high as the tide flowed, and inchiding all
islands except a few which the Indians specially reserved
for the purposes of hunting, fishing, and bathing, no En-
glish settlements had, at that early day, been formed
south of the Great Ogeechee river. Fort Argyle, — gar-
risoned by Captain McPherson and his troop of Kan-
gers, and commanding the passes by which the Indians
during the late wars were accustomed to invade Caro-
lina, — was then the only military post of any conse-
quence in the direction of the Spaniards. From this
nameless bluff the Aborigines had not then removed, and
their canoes might be seen passing and repassing to and
from Hussoope, [Ossabaw], and Cowleggee, [St. Cath-
arine], islands and the main. To the quiet woods and
waters of this semi-tropical region the English were
strangers. The Bermuda grass which, at a later period,
so completely covered Sunbury -bluff, did not then ap-
pear, but magnificent live oaks, in full grown stature and
solemn mien, crowned the high-ground even to the very
verge where the tide Idssed the shore. Cedars, * festoon-
ed 's\dth vines, over hung the waters. The magnoHa
grandifiora, — queen of the forest, — excited on every hand
the admiration of the early visitor. The sweet-scented
myrtle, the tall pine, the odoriferous bay, and other indig-
enous trees lent theii' charms to a spot whose primal
beauty had encountered no change at the hand of man.
The woods were resonant with the songs of birds, whose
bright plumage vied in coloring with the native fiowers
which gladdened the eye and gave gentle odors to the
ambient air. Fishes abounded in the waters, and game
on the land. Cool sea-breezes tempered the heat of sum-
mer, and the rigor of cold was unknown in the depth of
winter. It was a gentle, attractive place, — this bold bluff, —
as it came from the hand of Nature. Some scene like
this did the Poet Waller have in view as he sang :
" Heav'n sure has kept this spot of earth unciirst,
To show how all things were created first." ^
By a certain grant under the great seal of the Province
of Georgia, bearing date the 4th of October, 1757, his
Majesty George II conveyed to Mark Carr, his heirs and
assigns forever, in free and common socage, " All that
tract of land containing five hundred acres, situate and
being in the District of Midway in the Province of Geor-
gia, bounded on the east by the Midway river, on the
west by land of Thomas Carr, on the south by vacant
land, and on aU other sides by marshes of the said river."
The grantee of these lands, which embraced the site of
the future town of Sunbury, had been for some twenty
years a man of means and of mark in the Colony of Geor-
gia. In 1741 he had been sent by General Oglethorpe
to Virginia to raise recruits for the Colony.^ In his last
will and testament, dated June 8th, 1767, and proven be-
fore his Excellency Sir James Wright on the the 4th of
December of the same year. Captain Carr describes him-
self as being " of the Parish of St. Patrick in the Province
of Georgia, Esquire." He owned lots in the town of
Frederica, an island on the north side of Midway river, a
tract of land on the main fronting that island, which he
had purchased from John Cubbage, and "a plantation on
the main over against Jekyll island." This was his fa-
vorite residence. Here, on the 18tli of March, 1741, —
despite the presence of a guard of soldiers there stationed
* Memoir of General James Oglethorpe, by Robert Wright, pp. 284, 285. London, 1867.
THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGlA.
by General Oglethorpe, — the Indians made an attack verj
early in the morning, killing several of the soldiers and
servants, wounding others, "locking down the women and
children in the cellar," pillaging the house, and carrying
away the booty in a large boat belonging to the plantation.*
The grant of this five hundred acre tract on Midway
river to Mark Carr in fee simple, was made under the
operation of the rules adopted by the Common Council
in May, 1750, which essentially enlarged the tenures of
grants already existing, and provided that future alienations
should convey "an absolute inheritance to the grantees,
their heirs and assigns." It will be remembered that under
the regulations at first prescribed by the Trustees, five
hundred acre tracts were conveyed only to persons well
approved by the Trust ; — parties who should at their own
expense, and within twelve months from the date of the
grant, bring ten able-bodied men servants not younger
than twenty years of age, and settle upon the lands.
Former alienations of this magnitude had been coupled
with other conditions, among which the following may be
enumerated as the most important :
I. The grantee obligated himself to abide in Georgia
with his servants for a term of not less than three years,
building houses and cultivating the lands.
II. Within ten years from the registry of the grant, at
least two hundred of the five hundred acres were to be
cleared and cultivated.
III. No alienation of the lands thus granted, either in
whole or in part, for a term of years or otherwise, was
permitted except by special leave.
*See A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, &c., by William Stephens, pp. 160, 161.
ly. After the lapse of eighteen years from the date of
the grant, should any part of the five hundred acres re-
main uncultivated, unplanted, uncleared, and without a
worm-fence, or pales six feet high, such portion should
revert to the Trust, and the grant, pro tanto, was to be-
Y. These grants were in Tail Male.'^"
On the 20th of June, 1758, Mark Carr conveyed three
hundred acres of this five hundred acre tract, including
that portion bordering upon Midway river, to " James Max-
well, Kenneth Baillie, John Elliott, Grey Elliott, and John
Stevens, of Midway, Esquires," -s^- ^ ^ in trust that the
same should be laid out as a town by the name of Sun-
hury ; — one hundred acres thereof being dedicated as a
common, for the use of the future inhabitants ; — and in
further trust "that they, the said James Maxwell, Ken-
neth Baillie, John Elliott, Grey Elliott, and John Stevens
and their successors, should sell and dispose of all and
singular the lots to be laid out in the said town of Sunbury
to and for the proper use and behoof of the said Mark
Captain McCallt suggests that "the town was called Sun-
bury,^ the etymology of which is probably the residence of
the sun, — from the entire exposure of this place to his
beams while he is above the horizon." We believe that
this projected village was named for Sunbury, a quiet and
beautiful town in Middlesex County, on the left bank of
the Thames, only a little way above Hampton Court, and
distant some eighteen miles by land from London ; — it
being a pleasant custom among the colonists to perpetuate
* See An Account Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Greorgia in America, &c. pp.
48, i9. London, 1741.
t History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 255. Savannah, 1811.
146 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
in their new homes the memories of persons and places
dear to them in the mother country.
In ancient records, says Lysons, this place (Sunbury in
England) is called Sunnahyri, Sunneberie, Suneberie, ^c.
Sunnabyri is composed of two Saxon words, — sunna, the
sun, and hyri, a town, — and may be supposed to denote
a place exposed to the sun, or with a southern aspect.
A name better suited to this locality could scarcely have
been suggested. It recalls the peaceful memories of one
of the gentle towns of old England, and typifies the genial
influences of the "King of Day" as, from early dawn until
sunset, he irradiates with floods of light the bold bluff "on
the westermost bank of the river Midway."
Two of the Trustees, — John Stevens and John Elliott, —
were prominent members of the Midway Congregation.
James Maxwell had been for several years a resident of
St. John's Parish. He and John Stevens were members
of the Provincial Congress which assembled at Tondee's
Long-room in Savannah on the 4th of July, 1775.^
Kenneth Bailhe and Grey Elliott were active and in-
fluential citizens. The latter was subsequently selected
by the General Assembly to act as an assistant from the
Colony of Georgia to Dr. Benjamin Eranklin who had been
chosen by several of the Provinces, — Georgia among the
number, — and sent on a special mission to England to
represent the wants and grievances of the Colonies, re-
monstrate against such acts of the Crown as were deemed
oppressive, and oppose taxation without representation. J
* The folloAving members of that Congress came from the Parish of St. John : James
Screven, Nathan Brownson, Daniel Koberts, John Baker, Sr., John Bacon, Sr., James Max-
well, Edward Ball, William Baker, Sr., William Bacon, Jr., John Stevens, and John
t Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. n, p. 106.
t See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ir, p. 7. Savannah, 1816.
All the Trustees, therefore, were men of position and
character, commanding the respect of the community.
Their selection for the trust indicated sound judgment and
well-placed confidence on the part of Mark Carr.
The road from Savannah to New Inverness in the
Darien settlement which, in 1736, in obedience to Mr.
Oglethorpe's orders, was located by Captain Hugh Mac-
Kay, Jr., with his company of Rangers, and Indian guides
furnished by Tomo-chi-chi, had been completed. Various
settlements on the Savannah, Yernon, and Great Ogee-
chee rivers, and also on St, Simons island and the Ala-
tamaha river having been confirmed, between 1740 and
1750 planters with their families and servants began to
move in and occupy desirable localities intermediate the
Great Ogeechee and Alatamaha rivers. The sites, at
first selected, lay along the line of the Savannah and
New Inverness road, and upon high-grounds adjacent
thereto bordering upon salt-water streams and swamps
emptying into them. Between the Great Ogeechee and
South-New Port rivers was formed the Midway settlement.
This district derived its name from its location, which
was about midway between the rivers Savannah and Ala-
tamaha then constituting the northern and southern
boundaries of the colony. It has been suggested, and
the belief is current with some, that the true spelling is
Medway, and that both the District and the river which
permeates it were named for one of the well-known
streams of merrie old England."^'
* The Medway, in the coianty of Kent, is a noble stream. Its trunk and branches cover
thirty square miles of the surface of the county, and its length is nearly sixty miles, —
of which forty are navigable. This river well deserves the name of Vaga, by which the
Britons described its wanderings. The Saxons added the syllable Med, the sign of mid-
dle, because the river runs through the centre of the county, and thus gets its present
name of Medway.
Encyclopfedia Britanica, 8th Edition, vol. xin, Article Kent, p. 65.
See also vol. vui, p. 716.
148 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
On the only plan of Sunburj the writer has been able
to procure, and in some of the early records, this river
is written Medioay. It may be fairly stated, however,
that while by some the river may have been called Med-
way, the district was universall}^ known as Midway. The
time-honored church, which still stands, and its prede-
cessor which so long stood near the intersection of the
Savannah and Darien, and the Sunbury roads, are both
remembered as the Midway and not Medivay congrega-
tional meeting houses. We are persuaded that the river
as well as the district were both named Midway : — the
former being called for the latter.
By an act dividing the several districts and divisions of
the Province of Georgia into Parishes, passed the 15th
day of March, 1758," it was provided that " the town of
Hardwick and district of Ogechee, on the south side of
the river Great Ogechee, extending northwest up the said
river so far as the Lower Indian trading path leading
from Mount Pleasant, and southward from the town of
Hardwick as far as the swamp of James Dunham, in-
cluding the settlements on the north side of the north
branches of the river Midway, with the islands of Ossa-
baw, and from the head of the said Dunham's Swamp in
a north-west line, shall be and forever constitute a parish
by the name of ' The Parish of St. Phihp ' : from Sunbury
in the district of Midway and Newport from the southern
bounds of the parish of St. Philip, extending southward
as far as the north line of Samuel Hastings, and from
thence southeast to the south branch of Newport, includ-
ing the islands of St. Katharine and Bermuda, and from
the north hne of the said Samuel Hastings northwest,
*Marbur5- and Crawford's Digest, pp. 150 152.
shall be and forever continue a parish by the name of 'The
Parish of St. John ' : the town and district of Darien,
extending from the south boundary of the parish of St.
John to the river Alatamaha, including the islands of
Sapelo and Eastwood, and the sea islands to the north
of Egg island northwest up the river Alatamaha to the
forks of the said river, shall be and forever continue a
parish by the name of ' The Parish of St. Andrew : ' and
the town and district of Frederica, including the islands
of Great and Little St. Simons, and the adjacent islands
shall be and forever continue a parish by the name of ' The
Parish of St. James.' "
Such were the territorial limits of the four southern
parishes of the province, approved by Governor Ellis, and
designed to promote the establishment of religious worship
according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of
As the early population of Sunbury was largely drawn
from the members of the Midway congregation, — the most
pronounced society existing within the limits of St. John's
parish at the time of its formation, — a brief sketch of that
congregation and its establishment in Georgia, may not be
Early in 1697 a body of Puritans from ■ the Towns of
Dorchester, Roxbury, and Milton, in Massachusetts, taking
with them their pastor, — the Reverend Joseph Lord, —
and proclaiming as a leading object the encouragement of
churches and the promotion of religion in the Southern
plantations, removed with their families and personal effects
* Under the writs of election issued by Sir James Wright in 1761, Thomas Carter, Par-
menus Way and John Winn were returned as members from Midway and Sunbury in St.
John's Parish. t
I McCall's Georgia, vol. i, p. 286.
150 THE DEAD TOWNS OF OEOKGIA.
and formed a new home at Dorchester, in the province of
South Oarohna. The church which they there established
was the first Congregational or Independent Church within
the confines of that Colony. All the other religious socie-
ties belonged to the established Church of England.
After a residence of more than fifty years, finding their
lands impoverished and insufiicient for the rising genera-
tion, — Dorchester and Beach-Hill proving very unhealthy, —
the good reports of the lands in Georgia having been con-
firmed upon the personal inspection of certain members of
the Society who had been sent for that purpose, and a
grant of 22,400 acres of land having been secured from
the authorities in Georgia, — which grant was subsequently
enlarged by the addition of 9,950 acres, — the members of
the Dorchester Society commenced moving in 1752 into
what is now the swamp region of Liberty County. The
settlement lay between Mount Hope Swamp, — the head
of Midway riv^r, — on the North, and Bull-Town Swamp
on the South. At first, however, it was not so compre-
hensive. It extended neither to the pine barrens on the
West, nor to the salt water on the East. This immigra-
tion, begun in 1752, was continued until 1771, when it
ceased.^ According to the records of the Society, there
were forty-four removals in all, of which one famil}' came
from Charlestown, four from Pon-Pon, and the remaining
thirty-nine from Dorchester and Beach-Hill. These re-
* DeBralim says : " The Beach-Hill Congregation settled tipon the Heads of the two
Newport Rivers early in the year 1752, when they left Carolina in a great Body, they con-
tiniied drawing their Effects and Cattle after settling all other Concerns in their native
Province until 1755, many rich Carolina Planters followed the Example of that Congre-
gation, and came with all their Families and Negroes to settle in Georgia in 1752 : the
Spirit of Emigration out of South Carolina into Georgia became so universal that year,
that this and the following year near one thousand Negroes was broiight in Georgia,
where in 1751 were scarce above three dozen. "t
t History of the Province of Georgia, &c., p. 21. Wormsloe, 1849.
movals were most numerous during the years 1754, 1755,
and 1756. These immigrants brought their negroes with
them, and it appears probable, from the best lights before
us, that the population of this colony, after its full estab-
lishment, consisted of about 350 whites, and 1500 negro
The region into which the Dorchester Congregation
immigrated was already known as the Midiuay District.
To the General Assembly which convened in Savannah in
1751, Audley Maxwell, Esquire, was sent as a delegate ; —
its population then entitling it to such representation.
It would appear that a number of families residing in the
Midway District previous to the arrival of the Dorchester
Congregation, united with that Society after it was regularly
domiciled in its new home. The Dorchester Colony did
not immigrate, in its entirety, to Georgia. Some families
continued to dwell at Dorchester and Beach-Hill, where
their descendants may yet be found. Others removed else-
where. With the formation of the new settlement in St.
John's parish, however, the old Dorchester colony in South
Carolina lost its integrity and distinctive characteristics.
In locating their plantations amid the swamps of St.
John's parish, the following plan was adopted : After laying
by their crops in Carolina in the fall of the year, the plant-
ers came with able-bodied hands, and, during the winter,
cleared land and built houses. In a season or two having
thus sufficiently prepared the way, they brought their fami-
lies and servants in the early spring, and at once entered
upon the cultivation of the soil. Thus was the removal
rendered as safe and comfortable as the nature of the
Strange to say, their dwellings and plantation quarters
152 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.-
were invariably located on tlie edges of the swamps, in
utter disregard of the manifest laws of health. In such
malarial situations was the entire year passed. Their
houses at first were built of wood, one story high, with
dormer windows in the roofs, small in size, without lights,
with no inside linings, and with chimneys of clay. ' The
negro-houses were made either of clay or poles. For
market, rice was the only article cultivated. While corn
was planted on the upland, chief attention was bestowed
upon the clearing, ditching, and drainage of the swamps.
A miasmatic soil was thus exposed to the action of the
sun, at their very doors. The consequence of such injudi-
cious location, and of a general inattention to domestic
comfort, was violent sickness and considerable mortality.
So frequent were the deaths among children that they
seldom arrived at puberty. Those who attained the age
of manhood and womanhood possessed feeble constitutions.
According to the register kept by the Society, from 1752
to 1772, — -the, period during which this settlement was
being formed, — 193 births and 134 deaths occurred. The
mortality was greatest during the months of September,
October, and November. April, May, June, and August
appear to have been the healthiest months : — June par-
ticularly so. Bilious fevers in the fall, and pleurisies in
the winter and spring, were the diseases which proved most
fatal. It used to be said of such as survived a severe
attack of bilious fever in the fall, that they would certainly
die of pleurisy in the winter or spring.
The Indians being in the vicinity, and at times indulging
in acts of hostility, some of the houses of these early
settlers were made of hewn cypress logs after the fashion
of block houses, and were bullet proof.
The style of agriculture in vogue was of the most primi-
tive sort. The ground was tilled with hoes only. Ploughs
were not in use. All rails for fencing were carried on
the heads and shoulders of the negroes, and in the same
manner was rice transported from the fields. This grain
was not only threshed but also beaten by hand : and thus
was the crop prepared for market. At first some of the
planters sold their crops in Savannah. A trip to that
place was the event of the year, and the anticipated jour-
ney was talked of in the neighborhood for some time be-
fore it was undertaken. Horses were specially fed and
carefully attended for a week or more preparatory to the
jaunt. Ordinary journeys to church, and of a social char-
acter, were performed on horseback. Hence horse-blocks
were to be seen at every door. When he would a-woo-
ing go, the gallant appeared mounted upon his finest
steed and in his best attire, followed by a servant on an-
other horse, conveying his master's valise behind him.
I Shortly after the Revolutionary war stick-back gigs
were introduced. If a woman were in the vehicle and
unattended, the waiting man rode another horse, keep-
Eig along side of the shaft horse and holding the check
p'ein in his left hand. When his master held the lines,
the servant rode behind. Men often went armed to church
for fear of the Indians.
The country was filled with game Ducks and wild
geese in innumerable quantities frequented the rice-fields.
Wild turkeys and deer abounded. Bears and beavers
I were found in the swamps, and buffalo herds wandered
at no great remove to the southward and northward,
ffhere was no lack of squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rab-
bits, snipe, wood-cock, and quail. Wildcats and hawks
154 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEOlA.
were the pest of the region, while the cougar was some-
times heard and seen in the depths of the vine-clad
swamps. The waters which they held were aHve with
fishes, alligators, terrapins, and snakes.
Such, in a few words, was the condition of the swamp
region of the Midway District when the town of Sun-
bury was located. Responding to the trust reposed in
them by the conveyance from Mark Carr, Messrs. James
Maxwell, Kenneth Baillie, John Elliott, Grey Elliott, and
John Stevens, with due dispatch set about laying off the
town upon the "westermost bank" of Midway river.|
The plan, as matured and carried out by them, embraced
three public squares, — known respectively as King's, Churchf
and Meeting, — and four hundred and ninety-six lots. These
lots had a uniform front of seventy feet, and were one hun-
dred and thirty feet in depth. Lots numbers one to forty,
inclusive, fronting on the river, were denominated Bay Lots,
and carried with them the ownership of the shore to low-
water mark. Four lots constituted a block, bounded on
'three sides by streets, and on the fourth by a lane. The
streets were seventy-five feet broad, and the lanes twenty
feet wide. The plan of the town was entirely regular. The
streets in one direction ran at right angles to the river, and
were, at right angles, intersected by the cross streets and
lanes. From north to south the length of Sunbury, as thus
laid out, was 3430 feet. Its breadth on the south side was
2230 feet, and on the north, 1880 feet.
Within a short time substantial wharves were constructed,
the most marked of which were subsequently owned and
used by the following merchants : Kelsell & Spalding, Fisher,
Jones & Hughes, Darling & Co., and Lamott.
That Sunbury must rapidly have attracted the notice of
the colonists and quickly secured a population by no means
insignificant or destitute of influence in that day of small
things, is evidenced by the fact that as early as 1761 the
Governor, by and with the advice and consent of his council,
established and declared it to be a port of entry, and
appointed Thomas Carr, Collector, John Martin, Naval Offi-
cer, and Francis Lee, Searcher. These appointments were
confirmed by the Commissioners of his Majesty's Customs."^'
By deed prepared by Thomas Bosomworth, Malatche
Opiya, Mico, Emperor of the Upper and Lower Creeks, in
consideration of ten pieces of stroud, twelve pieces of dufiles,
two hundred weight of powder, two hundred weight of lead,
twenty guns, twelve pairs of pistols, and one hundred
weight of vermilion, on the 14th day of December, 1749,
conveyed to Thomas and Mary Bosomworth [formerly
Musgrove] Hussoope or Ossabaw island, Cowleggee or
St. Catherine island,t and Sapelo, with their appurten-
ances, warranting the same to them, their heirs, and
assigns, so long as the sun should shine, or the waters
flow in the rivers. J This claim to the ownership of
these valuable islands proved a very annoying one to the
colonists. After years of litigation, the dispute was finally
* See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 21. Philadelphia, 18.59.
In his letter to Lord Halifax, written in 1763, Sir James Wright says : " I judged it
necessary for his Majesty's service that Sunbury, — a well settled place, having an exceed-
ing good harbour and inlet from the sea, — should be made a Port of Entry : and I have
appointed Thomas Carr, Collector, and John Martin, Naval Officer for the same. There
are eighty dwelling houses in the place : three considerable merchant stores for supply-
ing the town and planters in the neighborhood with all kinds of necessary goods ; and
around it for about fifteen miles is one of the best settled parts of the country."
t When visited by an English traveller in 1743, this island was inhabited by eight or
ten families of Indians, who had considerable tracts of open land, and were largely
engaged in the cultivation of corn. It abounded with game, "on which," says the
writer, "the good Indians regaled us, and for Greens boiled us the Tops of China Briars,
which eat almost as well as Asparagiis."*
* London Magazine for 1745, pp. 551, 552.
IX McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 214; 215. Savannah, 1811.
156 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
settled in 1759, by Royal command, by admitting a demand
of Mrs. Bosomworth for £450 for goods alleged to have been
expended by lier in his Majesty's service during the years
1747 and 1748, by allowing her a back salary at the rate of
XlOO per annum for sixteen years and a half, during which
she had acted in the capacity of government agent and inter-
preter, and by confirming to her and her designing husband
full right and title to St. Catherine island, in consideration
of the fact that they had fixed their residence and planted
St. Catherine island was the home of the Bosomworths
when Sunbury was settled. Some fourteen years after-
wards it formed the residence of the honorable Button
Gwinnett, who, having disposed of his stock of merchan-
dise in Charleston, South Carolina, with the proceeds pur-
chased some negroes and a tract of land on St. Catherine,
where he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits until,
on the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, he was sum-
moned from his retirement by the voice of his fellow-
Captain McCall, in alluding to the early history of Sun-
bury, says : " Soon after its settlement and organization
as a town, it rose into considerable commercial import-
ance ; emigrants came from different quarters to this
healthy maritime port, particularly from Bermuda : about
seventy came from that island, but unfortunately for
them and the reputation of the town, a mortal epidemic
broke out and carried off about fifty of their number the
first year : it is highly probable they brought the seeds
of the disease with them. Of the remainder, as many
* See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 453, 454.
t See Sanderson's Biograpliy of tlie Signers, vol. in, p. 120. Philadelphia, 1823.
as were able, returned to their native country. This cir-
cumstance, however, did not very much retard the grow-
ing state of this eligible spot : a lucrative trade was car-
ried on with various parts of the West Indies in lumber,
rice, indigo, corn, &c. Seven square-rigged vessels have
been known to enter the port of Sunburj in one day,
and about the years 1769 and 1770 it was thought by
many, in point of commercial importance, to rival Savan-
nah. In this prosperous state it continued with very
little interruption until the war commenced between Great
Britain and America."*
In his report on the condition of the Province of
Georgia, dated the 20th of September, 1773, Sir James
Wright mentions Savannah and Sunbury as being the
only ports in the Province. The inlet to the latter he
describes as " very good ; and, although the river is not
more than twenty two miles in length, fifteen feet of water
may be carried up to the town distant twelve miles from
the sea." From the same source we learn that during
the year 1772 fifty-six vessels of various sorts were en-
tered and cleared at the custom house in the port of
Sunbury.f The collector of the port at this time was
James Kitchen, with a salary of £65 stg, and fees of
office amounting to £90. The comptroller and searcher
was Isaac Antrobus : salary £60 : fees of office amount-
ing to a like sum.
Sunbury soon commanded the rice crop from the adja-
cent swamp regions. Indigo was planted on the island
just below, then called Bermuda, and now known as the
Colonel's Island. The principal trade was with the West
*McCairs History of Georgia, vol, i, pp. 255, 256. Savannah, 1811.
1 See Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii, p. 161, et seq. Savannah,
158 THE DEAD TO^T^S OF GEORGIA.
Indies and witli the Northern Colonies. From the former,
supphes of rum and sugar were obtained, and from the
latter rum, flour, biscuits, and provisions. To the West
Indies were shipped rice, corn, peas, indigo, lumber,
shingles, live stock, and barreled beef and pork. Governor
Wright regarded the trade with the Northern Colonies as
injurious to the Province of Georgia, because, says he,
" they take of but little of our produce, and drain us of
every trifle of Gold and Silver that is brought here, by
giving a price for Guineas, Moidores, Johannes's Pistols
and Dollars far above their real and intrinsic value, so
that we can never keep any amongst us." So anxious was
Sunbury to concentrate all the trade of the interior, that
at one time it was projDosed to connect Midway and North
Newport rivers by a canal running between Bermuda island
and the main. This project, however, was never consum-
mated. Occasionally A^essels arrived fi'om EngHsh ports
bringing manufactured goods, but such generally sought
Savannah as the port of entry and discharge. The pur-
chases of the Sunbury merchants were largely made in
or through Savannah, and were thence conveyed in coast-
ing sloops and schooners through the inland passages.
Below the town, and on the road to the Colonel's island,
is a locality to this day known as the stave landing, whence,
in these early daj^s, constant shipments of staves and shin-
gles were made. On the eastern side of that island, the
site of the old shipyard is still pointed out where vessels
were repaired and new ones built. It was here that the
British landed during the Revolutionary war, when, under
Lieut. Col. Fuser, they attempted the reduction of Sunbury.
The health of Sunbury from the time of its settlement
until, and even after the Revolutionary war, was good. It
became a pleasant residence for the families of many
planters whose plantations were located in the swamp
^ is a "list of the Proprietors of the Town
Georgia," and of the Lots owned by them
or their representatives about the period of the war of the
James Fisher. Schmidt k Molich.
Swinton & Co.
Darling & Munro.
Swinton & Co.
160 THE DEAD TOWNS OF QEOEGIA.
Lot No. 26. — Joseph Bacon.
" 27. John Stewart, Sen'r.
" 28. John Lupton.
" 29. Dunbar, Young & Co.
" 30. Do.
" 31. John Elhott.
" 32. James Dunham.
" 33. Lyman Hall.
" 34. Do.
" 35. Samuel Miller.
" 36. Kenneth Baillie, Sen'r.
" 37. Samuel Benner worth.
" 38. Do.
" 39. William Sererson.
" 40. Do.
" 41. Mark Carr.
" 42. Tabitha Bacon.
" 43. Do.
" 44. John Winn.
" 45. David Jervey.
" 46. Do.
" 47. Francis Arthur.
" 48. Francis Lee.
" 49. John Quarterman, Jr.
" 50. James Dowell.
" 51. John Irvine.
" 52. Jeremiah Irvine.
" 53. Darling & Co.
" 54. Matthew Smallwood.
" 65. William Peacock.
" 56. Isaac Lines.
" 57. John Osgood.
Lot No. 58. — Rebecca Way.
" " 59. John Stewart, Sr.
" " 60. JohnLupton.
" " 61. James Dunham.
" " 62. John Shave.
" " 63. Jacob Lockerman.
" " 64. Paynter Dickinson.
" " 65. John Lawson.
" '' 66. Do.
" •' 67. Thomas Ralph.
" " 68. John Qaarterman, Sr.
" " 69. Thomas Gouldsmith.
" " 70. James Houstoun.
" " 71. John Stevens.
" " 72. Mark Carr.
" " 73. Hugh Clark.
" " 74. Do.
" " 75. Kenneth BaiUie, Sr.
" " 76. Do.
" " 77. Paris Way.
" " 78. Nathaniel Yates.
" " 79. WiUiam Dunham.
" " 80. Charles West.
" " 81. Daniel Slade.
" " 82. Jacob Lockerman.
" " 83. Samuel West.
" " 84. Thomas Carter, P. Schmidt.
" " 85. John Elliott.
" " 86. Do.
" " ~ 87. William Baker.
" " 88. Do.
" " 89. Audley MaxweU.
TflE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Lot No. 90. — Elizabeth Simmons.
91. John Graves.
93. Robert Bolton.
94. John Baker.
95. John Humphreys.
96. James Fisher, Francis Guilland.
97. John Lupton.
99. Henry Saltus.
100. Donald McKay.
101. Stephen Dickinson.
103. WilHam Clark.
104. Thomas Christie.
105. Samuel Jeanes.
106. Moses Way.
107. William David.
108. Paynter Dickinson.
109. Francis Lee.
111. James Harley.
112. Samuel Bacon.
113. Tabitha Bacon.
114. John Stewart, Snr.
117. Stephen Dicldnson.
119. John Elliott.
121. Benjamin Stevens.
Lot No. 122.-
Eichard Mills. *
164 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Ciiaries West. Schmidt & Molich.
William Davis. -
Lot No. 191. — Barnard Eomans.
" " 192. Do.
" " 200. John K. Zubley.
" " 205. Edward Way.
" " 206. Do.
" " 207. James Fisher.
" " 208. Do.
" " 209. Edward Maham.
" " 210. Do.
" " 211. Eichard Spencer.
" " 212. Do.
" " 213. William Swinton.
" " 214. Do.
" " 215. Do.
" " 216. Do.
" 217. Samuel Jeanes.
" " 218. Do.
" " 219. Do.
" " 220. Henry Saltus.
" " 221. James Bead.
" " 222. Do.
" " 223. Charles West.
" " 224. Do.
" " 225. John Shave.
" " 226. Do.
" " 227. Richard Baker.
" " 228. Do.
" " 229. Marn'k Perry.
" " 230. Do.
'' 231. Thomas Dunbar
" " 232. Joshua Snowden.
'' '' 233. Samuel Burnley. Schmidt & M51ich.
THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Lot No. 234.-
—Samuel Burnley. Schmidt & Molich
" " 235.
" " 237.
" " 238.
" " 240.
" " 241.
" " 243.
" " 244.
u u 245.
u .. 247.
" " 248.
" " 249.
" '' 250.
" " 251.
" " 252.
" " 253.
" " 257.
" " 258.
'•' " 265.
Patrick M. Kay.
" " 271.
" " 272.
" " 273.
" " 274.
jofc No. 275.-
o u rs X) u XV X .
u u 276.
u u 277.
" " 280.
" " 281.
" " 282.
" " 283.
John Gaspar Stirkej
« " 284.
" " 285.
John Jones (mulatto.
" " 305.
" " 306.
" " 307.
" " 308.
" " 309.
" " 313.
" " 314.
" " 315.
" " 317.
" " 318.
" " 319.
" " 320.
" " 340.
" " 341.
" " 342.
" " 343.
" " 344.
« " 345.
" " 346.
168 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGlA.
Lot No. 347.— Peter McKay.
" " 348. Do.
" " 349. Do. .
" " 350. Do.
" " 351. Do.
" " 352. Thomas Quarterman.
" " 353. Barrack Norman.
" " 354. Do.
" " 355. Do.
" " 356. Tarah, Senior.
" " 357. Francis Ai'thur.
" " 358. Do.
" " 359. Frederick Hobrendorff.
" " 360. Do.
" " 361. Joseph Eichardson.
" " 362. Do.
" " 373. John Ford.
" " 403. Thomas Christie.
" " 404. Do.
" '' 431. Marmaduke Gerry.
" " 432. Do.
« " 433. Do.
" " 434. Eobert Smallwood.
" " 435. Do.
" " 436. John Winn.
" 437. Francis Arthur.
" " 438. Do.
" " 473. Do.
" " 474. Do.
" " 475. Do.
" " 476. Do.
" " 477. Do.
Lot No. 478. — Samuel Bacon.
" 479. Francis Lee.
" " 480. John Tutes.
In the Spring of 1773 William Bartram, at the request
of Dr. Fothergill of London, set out "to explore the
vegetable kingdom," and search the Floridas and the west-
ern portions of Carolina and Georgia " for the discovery
of rare and useful productions of nature." In his charm-
ing narrative of travels and observations, he presents us
with this glimpse of our lost town : " After resting, and a
little recreation for a few days in Savanna, and having in
the meantime purchased a good horse, and equipped my-
self for a journey southward, I sat off early in the morn-
ing for Sunbury, a sea-porfc town beautifully situated on
the main between Medway and Newport rivers, about fif-
teen miles south of great Ogeeche river. The town and
harbour are defended from the fury of the seas by the
north and south points of St. Helena and South Catharine's
islands ; between which is the bar and entrance into the
sound : the harbor is capacious and safe, and has water
enough for ships of great burthen. I arrived here in the
evening in company with a gentleman, one of the inhabi-
tants, who politely introduced me to one of the principal
families, where I supped and spent the evening in a circle
of genteel and polite ladies and gentlemen."'^'
The following day was occupied in exploring Bermuda
[now Colonel's] island, whose soil, plantations of indigo,
corn, and potatoes, Indian tumuli of eaith and shell, flora
and fauna, greatly interested and delighted him.
" On the morrow," Continues Mr. Bartram, " obedient to
the admonitions of my attendant spirit, curiosity, as well
* Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., p. 5. London, 1792.
170 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
as to gratify the expectations of my worthy patron, I again
sat off on my southern excursion and left Sunbury in com-
pany with several of its polite inhabitants who were going
to Medway meeting, a very large and well constructed place
of worship, in St. John's parish, where I associated with
them in religious exercise and heard a very excellent ser-
mon delivered by their pious and truly venerable pastor,
the Rev. Osgood. This respectable congregation is ±
independent, and consists chiefly of families and proselytes ■
to a flock which this pious man led, about forty years ago,*
from South Carolina, and. settled in this fruitful district.
It is about nine miles from Sunbury to Medway meeting-
house, which stands on the high road opposite the Sun-
bury road. As soon as the congregation broke up I re-
assumed my travels, proceeding down the high-road to-
wards Fort Barrington, on the Alatamaha, passing through
a level country well watered by large streams, branches
of Medway and Newport rivers, coursing from extensive
swamps and marshes, their sources : these swamps are
daily clearing and improving into large fruitful rice plan-
tations, aggrandizing the well inhabited and rich district
of St. John's parish. "t
In the absence of records it is impossible to specify, with
any degree of accuracy, the ratio of increase which char-
acterized the population of Sunbury during the first twenty
years of its existence. That at an early period it became a
favorite resort not only for commercial purposes but also for
health, admits of no doubt. The probability is that this
town culminated in prosperity, population, and importance,
about the beginning of the Revolutionary war, when its in-
* His Observations were published in 1792.
tidem, pp. 9, 10.
habitants, white and black, numbered, we should say, be-
tween eight hundred and a thousand. That, until the
retarding influences of the Revolutionary struggle were
encountered, Sunbury had steadily, although slowly, ad-
vanced in material wealth, influence, and population, may be
safely asserted. Bermuda island, too, was comfortably settled
by agriculturists, on small plantations, busied chiefly with
the production of indigo. Sunken spaces, indicating where
the old vats were located, may be seen to this day. A rich
and by no means inconsiderable back country was entirely
tributary to Sunbury. Rice, cattle, lumber, shingles, staves,
and other articles of commerce, brought from the furthest
practicable distances, were here concentrated for sale and
shipment; and quite an extensive territory drew its sup-
plies from the store-houses and shops of the Sunbury
merchants. On one or two occasions cargoes of Africans
were landed and sold in this port. The houses, although
of wood, were some of them large, and even imposing.
The wharves were faced with palmetto and live oak logs,
and filled in with oyster shells, sand, and stone-ballast.
Among the residents were not a few of gentle birth, refine-
ment, and education. As a rule, the inhabitants led easy,
comfortable, simple lives, and were much given to hospi-
tality. No one w^as ever in a hurry, and the mornings
and afternoons, among the better class, were largely de-
voted to amusements, such as fishing, sailing, riding,
and hunting. The evenings were spent in visiting and
in social intercourse. It was a good, easy life that these
planters, even at that early day, began to lead upon the
Georgia coast. It became more striking, abundant, and
attractive after the Revolution ; but the delightful germs
of the most pleasing existence this country has ever
172 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
known were then present. No aid seems to have been
invoked from the Colonial Council in either supporting
the town or indicating the manner in which it should
be governed. We find no public resolutions or acts on
the subject prior to the legislation of 1791. In all like- ,
lihood a Magistrate's Court, and the concurrent views of f
a few of the prominent citizens, invoked on an emergency,
sufficed for the preservation of order and the maintenance
The general council, however, from time to time, ap-
pointed packers, inspectors, and " cullers of lumber " for
By an act passed the 26tli of March, 1767, it was made
obligatory upon the inhabitants to ''clear and keep clear
the several squares, streets, lanes, and common " within
the town. In consideration of such service they were de-
clared exempt from road duty in the parish of St. John.*
By the constitution, adopted in convention at Savannah on
the 5th day of February, 1777, the parishes of St. John,
St. Andrew, and St. James, were consolidated into one
county called LiIberty. The counties then named and de-
fined within the limits of Georgia were eight in all : —
AVilkes, Kichmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty,
Glynn, and Camden. While to each of the other counties
was accorded a representation of ten members, fourteen
were allowed to Liberty in consideration of its extent and
importance. Sunbury was permitted two special and addi-
tional members to represent the trade of the place ; and,
for like purpose. Savannah was empowered to send four.
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary war the parish of
St. John possessed nearly one-third the wealth of the entire
* See Watkins' Digest, p. 144.
pro\dnce ; and its inliabitants were remarkable for their
upright and independent character."' Three hundred and
seventeen of the four hundred and ninetj-six lots into
which the town of Suuburj was divided, had been sold, and
w^ere, many of them at least, occupied by their respective
proprietors and their tenants. Among the prominent citi-
zens was Dr. Lyman Hall, a native of Connecticut and a
member of the Midway congregation. Although owning and
cultivating a rice plantation situated on the Savannah and
Darien road a few miles beyond Midway meeting house in
the direction of Savannah, he was the proprietor of and re-
sided upon two of the most desirable lots in Sunbury, num-
bered 33 and 34: on the plan of that town, and fronting upon
the river. He was the leading physician not only of the
place but also of the adjacent country for many miles. It
was mainly through his influence that the parish of St.
John acted independently and in advance of the Republican
party in Georgia. In acknowledgment of the decided stand
then assumed by him, he was, on the 21st of March, 1775,
unanimously elected as a delegate to represent the parish
in the next general Congress. t On the 13th of May fol-
lowing, upon the production of his credentials, he was unani-
mously admitted to a seat in Congress " as a delegate from
the parish of St. John in the Colony of Georgia, subject to
such regulations as the Congress should determine rela-
tive to his voting." He carried with him from Sunbury,
as a present to the suffering Republicans in Massachusetts,
one hundred and sixty barrels of rice, and fifty pounds
It was not until the loth of July, 1775, that the
* See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ir, p. 92. Pliiladelpliia, 1859.
t Sse Sanderson's Biography of the Signers, vol. iii, p. 55. Philadelphia, 1823.
McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, p. il. Savannah, 1816.
174 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
Convention of Georgia acknowledged complete allegiance
to the general Confederacy, and appointed Archibald
Bulloch, John Houstoun, the Rev'd Dr. Zublj, Noble W.
Jones, and Lyman Hall as delegates to the Provincial
Intermediately between the time when Dr. Hall took
his seat in Congress as a delegate from the parish of
St. John, and this action of the Convention, as he repre- I
sented only a portion of the Colony of Georgia, he
declined voting upoii questions which were to be decided i
by a vote of Colonies. He, however, participated in the T
debates, advocated the necessity and value of the present
Congress, recorded his opinion in all cases except such
as required an expression of sentiment by Colonies, and
declared his earnest desire and conviction "that the •
example which had been shown by the parish which he
represented would be speedily followed, and that the
representation of Georgia would soon be complete."
When the Declaration of Independence was signed, of
the three members from Georgia whose names were
affixed to that memorable document, two — Lyman Hall
and Button Gwinnett, — were from 8t. John's parish : and
we may add, from the town of Sunbury : — for, although
Gwinnett then resided on St. Catharine island, his home
was within sight of that flourishing seaport, all his public
and much of his private business was there transacted,
he was constantly seen in its streets, was known and hon-
ored of its citizens, and in very truth constituted one of
them. Two Signers of the Declaration of Independence
from one little town in St. John's parish ! and that town
clean gone from the face of that beautiful, lonely, and
bermuda-covered bluff! It is in perpetuating acts and
names like these that memory stays the engulfing waves
of oblivion, and administers signal rebuke to " time which
antiquates antiquities and hath an art to make dust of all
things."^' Did the limits of this sketch permit, it would
be interesting to detail the efforts made by the parish of
St. John to persuade positive resistance to English rule
and inaugurate steps contemplating an absolute separation
from the mother country when the greater part of Georgia
was not persuaded of the expediency of such action and
was actually opposed to the proceedings of the Continental
Congress. So determined and independent was the rebel
spirit in Sunbury, throughout the Midway settlement, and
at Darien, that it actually brought about, for the time
being, a voluntary political separation from the other
parishes of the Colony. So annoyed were the citizens
of St. John's parish by the temporizing policy which char-
acterized the Savannah Convention, that on the 9th of
February, 1775, they applied to the Committee of Cor-
respondence in Charleston "requesting permission to form
an alliance with them and to conduct trade and commerce
according to the act of non-importation to which they had
already acceded." It was strongly urged that having de-
tached themselves from the other parishes in Georgia which
hesitated to participate in the movement, they ought to
be considered and received as a "separate body compre-
hended within the spirit and equitable meaning of the Con-
tinental Association. "t
While admiring the patriotism of the parish, and en-
treating its citizens to " persevere in their laudable exer-
* Sir Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia.
^tSee Letter of the 9th of February, 1775, signed by Lyman Hall, Chairman.
White's Historical Collections of- Georgia, pp. 520, 521. New York, 1855.
Sanderson's Biography of the Signers, vol. ni, p. 54. Philadelphia, 1823.
176 THE DEAD TOWNS OP GEORGIA.
tions," the Carolinians conceived it improper, and " a vio-
lation of the Continental Association to remove the pro-
hibition in favor of any 2^0.'^^^ of a province."
Disappointed, and yet not despairing, the inhabitants
of the parish of St. John " resolved to prosecute their
claims to an equality with the Confederated Colonies."
Having adopted certain resolutions by which they obliga-
ted themselves to hold no commerce with Savannah, or
elsewhere, except under the supervision of a Committee,
and then only for the absolute necessaries of life, they
appointed Dr. Hall, as we have already seen, an independ-
ent delegate to represent the parish in the general con-
gress of provinces.
The patriotic spirit of its inhabitants, and this inde-
pendent action of St. John's parish in advance of the other
parishes of Georgia, were afterwards acknowledged when
all the parishes were in accord in the Revolutionary move-
ment. As a tribute of praise, and in token of general ad-
miration, by special act of the Legislature the name of
Liberty County was conferred upon the consolidated par-
ishes of St. John, St. Andrew, and St. James. Sir James
Wright was not far from the mark when he located the
head of the rebellion in St. John's parish, and advised
the Earl of Dartmouth that the rebel measures there in-
augurated were to be mainly referred to the influence of
the " descendants of New England people of the Puritan
Independent sect" who, retaining "a strong tincture of Re-
publican or Oliverian principles, have entered into an agree-
ment amongst themselves to adopt both the resolutions
and association of the Continental Congress." On the
altars erected within the Midway district were the fires
of resistance to the dominion of England earliest kindled;
and Lyman Hall, of all the dwellers there, by his counsel,
exhortations, and determined spirit, added stoutest fuel to
the flames. Between the immigrants from Dorchester and
the distressed Bostonians existed not only the ties of a
common parentage, but also sympathies born of the same
religious, moral, social, and political education. Hence we
derive an explanation of the reason why the Midway set-
tlement declared so early for the Revolutionists. The Pu-
ritan element cherishing and proclaiming intolerance of
established church and the divine right of Kings, im-
patient of restraint, accustomed to in(Jependent thought
and action, and without associations which encouraged
tender memories of and love for the mother country, as-
serted its hatreds, its affiliations, and its hopes with no
uncertain utterance, and appears to have controlled the
action of the entire parish.^"
When it became evident that England was resolved to
coerce her Colonies, the inhabitants of Sunbury and of
St. John's parish determined to place themselves in the
best possible condition for effective resistance. While some
of the citizens joined the State militia and the regularly
*The apparent tardiness and hesitancy on the part of the Colony of Georgia in casting
her lot with her Sister Colonies at the inception of those movements which culminated
in a declaration of independence, may be excused or accounted for when we remember
that she was the youngest and the least prepared of all the Colonies, and recall the fact
that Schovilites, leagued with Indians, were scourging her borders and awakening in the
breasts even of the most patriotic and daring, gravest apprehensions for the safety of their
wives and children. "The charge of inactivity vanishes," says Captain McCall, " when
the sword and hatchet are held over the heads of the actors to compel them to lie still."t
During the progress of the Revolution the term Schovilite which, at first, was used
to designate not only the bandit follower of Schovil, but also every adherent of the Crown
in the Southern provinces, was dropped, and that of Loyalist and Tory substituted. The
Revolutionists were known as Whigs, Jtebels, and Patriots. Many Loyalists who had fled
from the Carolinas and Georgia secured a retreat in East Florida whence, having associated
with themselves parties of Indians, under the name of Florida Rangers, they indulged in
predatory incursions into Georgia to the great loss and disquietude of the southern por-
tions of the Province.
t History of Georgia, vol. it, p. 4. Savannah, 1816.
178 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEORGIA.
constituted Colonial forces, others formed themselves into
an infantry company, and a troop of horse, for local defense.
The latter was commanded by Captain John Baker, who
afterwards attained the rank of Colonel, and, in association
with Colonels Cooper and Andrew Maybank, and Major
Charles West, rendered signal service in the partisan war-
fare which ensued.
For the immediate protection of Sunbury a fort was
built just below the town upon the point where the high
ground ended and the wide impracticable marshes between
the main and Bermuda island commenced.
A small defensive work may have existed here at an
earlier date. The Record Book of Midway Church dis-
closes the fact that in 1756 a letter was received from the
honorable Jonathan Bryan, — one of his Majesty's council
for the Colony, — conveying the intelligence that the Indians
were much incensed at several of their people having been
killed by some settlers on the Great Ogeechee river in a
dispute about cattle, and advising the Midway congi-egation,
with expedition, to construct a fort for their protection.
"People," continues the Journal, "are very much alarmed
with the news, and consultations were immediately had
about the building and place for a fort, and it ivas determined
hy a majority that it should he at Captain Marh Garrs, low
down, and upon the river near the sound, at about seven or
eight miles distance from the nearest of the settlement of the
Society, lohich accordingly ivas begun on the 20th September,
On the 11th of July following, apprehending an attack
from a French privateer, the Midway people were sum-
moned to Sunbury, where they "raised a couple of batteries
* See White's Historical Collections of Georgia, pp. 517, 518. New York, 1855.
and made carriages for eight small cannon which were at
the place." These were probably nothing more than field
works thrown up on the bluff just in front of the town. It
is to these little forts that Governor Ellis alluded when,
upon his second tour of inspection through the southern
portion of the Province, he " was pleased to observe that
the inhabitants of the Midway District had enclosed their
church within a defence, and had erected a battery of eight
guns at Sunhury in a position to command the river.''^
The State of Georgia being under consideration, it was
resolved by Congress, on the 5th of July, 1776, to raise
two battalions (one of them to consist of riflemen) to serve
in Georgia ; that blank commissions be sent to the Con-
vention of Georgia to be filled up with the names of such
persons as the Convention should deem proper ; that the
Legislatures of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Caro-
lina be recommended to allow recruits for these battalions
to be enlisted in their several States ; that four galleys
be built for the defense of the sea-coast, and that two
artillery companies, of fifty men each, be enlisted to garrison
tioo forts lohich the State was to erect at Savannah and Sun-
It may, we presume, be safely asserted that the heavy
earthwork on Midway river, just south of Sunbury, was
laid out and erected about the period of the commencement
of the Revolutionary war. If any prior defense there
existed, it was so modified and enlarged as completely
to lose its identity.
* Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 445, 446. New York, 1847.
t Journal of Congress, vol. i, p. 375.
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 151. Philadelphia, 1859.
Three days afterwards Congress appropriated $60,000 for the support of the battalions
thus ordered to be raised.
180 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
The names of those who were specially charged with
the construction of this fort have not been perpetuated,
but it lives in tradition that the planters of Bermuda island
and of the Midway District, and the citizens of Sunbury
contributed mainly to its erection. It was built chiefly
by slave labor, and was armed with such cannon as could
be procured on the spot, or obtained elsewhere."^ That
its armament was by no means inconsiderable will be con-
ceded when it is remembered that twenty-five pieces of
ordnance were surrendered by Major Lane when he yielded]
the ownership of this work to Colonel A. Prevost. These]
guns, however, were small, consisting of 4, 6, 9, 12, and
18-pounders, with perhaps one or two 24-pounders. It
was called by the Americans, Foet Moreis ;t but, upon its
capture by Colonel Prevost, its name was by him changed
to Fort George.
At the inception of the Revolutionary war the coast de-
fenses of Georgia were in a most pitiable and dilapidated
condition. All her forts were in ruins, or nearly so. On
the 20th of September, 1773, Sir James Wright, — who
makes no mention of any defensive work at Sunbury, —
reports Fort George on Cockspur island, which was built
in 1762 of mud walls faced with palmetto logs, with a ca-
poniere inside to serve for officers' apartments, as " almost
in ruins, and garrisoned only by an officer and three men,
just to make signals, (fee." Fort Halifax, within the town
of Savannah, constructed in 1759 and 1760, and made of
plank filled in with earth, with the exception of two of
its caponieres, was totally down and unfit for use. Fort
* It is not improbable tbat some of tbese guns maj" have been brought from Frederica ;
for the Council of Safety had ordered all warlike stores at that place to be secured.
t In compliment to Captain Morris, commanding a company of Continental Artillery
raised for coast defence. By this company was the fort garrisoned upon its completion.
•'l^l- '^If- M N\"/
Frederick, at Frederica, erected by General Oglethorpe
when his regiment was stationed there, had been without
a garrison for upwards of eight years, and although some
of its tabby walls remained, the entire structure was fast
passing into decay. Fort Augusta, in the town of Augusta,
made of three-inch plank, had been neglected since 1767
and was rotten in every part. Fort Barrington on the
Alatamaha river was in like condition. Of the fort at
New Ebenezer, of Fort William on the southern extrem-
ity of Cumberland island, of Fort Argyle, and of the
other minor defenses erected in the early days of the Col-
ony, scarce a vestige remained.
Located some three hundred and fifty yards due south
of Sunbury, and occupying the bluff where it first con-
fronts Midway river as, trending inward from the sound,
it bends to the north, Fort Morris was intended to cover
not only the direct water approach to the town, but also
the back river by means of which that place might be
passed and taken in reverse. Its position was well chosen
for defensive purposes. To the south stretched a wide-
spread and impracticable marsh permeated by Pole-haul
and Dickerson creeks, — two tributaries of Midway river, —
whose mouths were commanded by the gans of the fort.
This marsh also extended in front of the work, constituting
a narrow and yet substantial protection against landing
parties, and gradually contracting as it approached the
southern boundary of Sunbury. This fortification was an
enclosed earth-work, substantially constructed. Its walls
embraced a parade about an acre in extent. The eastern
face, confronting the river, was two hundred and seventy-
five feet in length. Here the heaviest guns were mounted.
The northern and southern faces were respectively one
182 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
hundred and ninety-one, and one hundred and forty feet
in length, while the curtain, looking to the west, was two
hundred and forty-one feet long. Although quadrangu-
lar, the work was somewhat irregalar in shape. From the
southern face and the curtain, no guns could be brought
to bear upon the river. Those there mounted served only
for defense against a land attack. The armament of the
northern face could be opposed to ships which succeeded
in passing the fort, until they ascended the river so far |
as to get beyond range. It also commanded the town
and the intervening space. The guns were mounted en
barbette, without traverses. Seven embrasures may still
be seen, each about five feet wide. The parapet, ten feet
wide, rises six feet above the parade of the fort, and its
superior slope is about twenty-five feet above the level
of the river at high tide. Surrounding the work is a moat
at present ten feet deep, ten feet wide at the bottom, and
twice that width at the top. Near the middle of the
curtain may be seen traces of a sally-port or gateway,
fifteen feet wide. Such is the appearance of this aban-
doned work as ascertained by recent survey. Completely
overgrown by cedars, myrtles, and vines, its presence would
not be suspected, even at a short remove, by those unac-
quainted with the locality. Two iron cannon are now
lying half buried in the loose soil of the parade, and a
third will be found in the old field about midway between
the fort and the site of the town. During the recent
war between the States, two 6-pounder guns were re-
moved from this fort and carried to Riceboro. No use,
however, was made of them. Two more, of similar calibre,
of iron, and very heavily reinforced at the breech, were
taken by Captain C. A. L. Lamar, — whose company was
then stationed at Sunbury, — and temporarily mounted on
the bluff to serve as signal guns. Despite their age and
the exposure to which they had so long been subjected,
these pieces were in such excellent condition that they
attracted the notice of the Ordnance department, and were
soon transported to Savannah. There they were cleaned,
mounted upon siege carriages, and assigned to Fort Bartow,
where they remained, constituting a part of the armament
of that work, until upon the evacuation of Savannah and
its dependent forts by the Confederate forces in December,
1864, they passed into the hands of the Federal army."^
Sunbury was occupied by the Kevolutionists as a military
post, and its fort garrisoned at a very early period in the
Colonial struggle for independence. t In 1776 when Gen.
Charles Lee, after full conference with the venerable Jona-
than Bryan, projected a plan of operations against St.
Augustine for the relief of the southern frontier of Geor-
gia, which had been constantly and sorely vexed by raiding
bands from Florida, and to destroy what promised to be
* For the accompanying plan of Fort Morris, I am indebted to a recent survey made at
my suggestion by Sam'l L. Fleming, Esq., of Liberty County.
t The following orders were issued by Colonel S. Elbert, for the fuller instruction of the
Artillerists stationed at Sunbury : IT
II See MS. Order Book of Col. Elbert.
"Headquarters Savannah, 5th Dec'r, 1777.
"OEDEBS TO captain DEFATT OP THE AKTILLEKY.
"You are to proceed immediately to the Town of Sunbury, in this State, where are a
corps of Continental Artillery posted, which you are constantly to be employed in teach-
ing the perfect use of Artillery, particularly in the Field. Both Officers and Men are
hereby strictly ordered to attend on yon for the above purpose, at such times, and in
such places as you may direct ; and the Commanding Officer of the Troops in that place
on your shewing him these Orders, will furnish Men to do the necessary duty in the
Town & Fort ; so that there will be nothing to prevent Captain Morris and his Company
from being perfected in the Business for which they were raised. Such pieces of Artillery
as you approve of, have mounted on Field-Carriages ; and for this purpose you are em-
powered to employ the necessary Workmen, and procure Materials. Your drafts on me
for every necessary Expense, accompanying the Vouchers, will be duly honored.
" I am. Sir, yoiir most Obdt Servt,
" S. Elbekt, Col. Commd'g."
184 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEOEGIA.
a strongliold for the English, the Yirginia and North Caro-
lina troops who were in the expedition were ordered to
rendezvous at Sunburj. It being the sickly season of the
year, and the men being unaccustomed to the climate, much
suffering was encountered from fevers. The mortality be-
came so great, — from ten to fifteen dying in a single day, —
that the soldiers were removed to the sea-islands in the
vicinity for health,"
As we all know, through the failure of General Lee to
concentrate the requisite men and munitions, the contem-
plated movement from which so much was anticipated never!
took place ; and when, on the 20th of September, he went
North to assume the command to which he had been ap-
pointed, he ordered the troops in the neighborhood of Sun-
bury to follow him.
This project was renewed by General Robert Howe, who
advanced as far as Fort Tonyn. There, however, a council
of war decided a further prosecution of the enterprise un-
advisable. The sick and convalescent, — of whom there
was a considerable number,- — in gallies and such boats as
could be procured were, under the command of Colonel
C. C. Pinckney, conducted by the inland passage to Sunbury
where, for a time, they were allowed to rest and recruit.
They were subsequently transferred to Charleston by the
way of Port Royal. t Colonel John Mcintosh was left in
command of Sunbury with one hundred and twenty-seven
men. The remnants of Elbert's and White's regiments pro-
ceeded to Savannah. I So far, Sunbury had suffered no
molestation at the hands of the King's forces.
* McCaU's Georgia, vol. ii, p. 96. Savaunah, 181G.
tSee McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, p. 153. SavannatL, 1816.
+ During tlie year 1777 American privateers were busy off the Georgia coast and among
the inland passages. They cruised as far south as St. Augustine and made frequent
captures. In his communication of the 8th of October, Sir James Wright informs Lord
Lord George Germain's plan for the Southern campaign
in 1778 was prepared with "minuteness of detail." The re-
duction of Savannah was resolved upon. As a diversion,
and with a view to distracting the attention of General
Howe and the American forces concentrated for the pro-
tection of the then capital of Georgia, General Augustine
Prevost was ordered to dispatch from St. Augustine two
expeditions, one, by sea, to operate directly against Sun-
bury, and the other, by land, to march through and har-
rass the lower portions of Georgia, and, at Sunbury, form
a junction with the former.
Responding to his instructions, that officer sent b}' water
a detachment of infantry and light artillery under the
command of Lieutenant Colonel Fuser for the capture of
Sunbury. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Prevost was charged
with the conduct of the expedition by land. He took
with him one hundred British regulars. At Fort Howe,
on the Alatamaha, he was joined by the notorious McGirth,
with three hundred refugees and Indians. On the 19th of
November this force ente:ed the Georgia settlements, tak-
ing captive all men found on their plantations, and plun-
dering the inhabitants of every article of value capable
of transportation. At the point where the Savannah and
Darien road crosses BuUtown swamp, Prevost was con-
fronted by Colonel John Baker, who had hastily collected
some mounted militia to dispute his advance. After a
short skirmish the Americans retreated. Colonel Baker,
George Germain that a short time previous a privateer from Sunbury, moiinting teu guns,
had taken five prizes ; two of which were safely carried in. He urges upon the Secretary
of War the expediency of stationing a twenty-gun ship or a frigate at Cockspur, two
sloops of war in the Savannah river, and one at Sunbury. t
From Sunbury, on the 1st of May, 1777, did Col. Elbert embark in transports his troops
destined for the expedition against Florida undertaken at the instance of Governor
t Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. lit, pp. 246, 248. Savannah, 1873,
186 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
Captain Cooper, and William Gonlding were wounded. At
North Newport Bridge, [afterwards called Riceborougii
Bridge,] further resistance was encountered at the hands
of the Patriots, but it was too feeble to materially retard
the progress of the invading forces. Meanwhile, Colonel
John White," having concentrated about one hundred
Continentals and militia, with two pieces of light artillery,
took post at Midway Meeting House and constructed a
slight breastwork across the road at the head of the cause-
way over which the enemy must advance. His hope was
that he might here keep Prevost in check until reinforce-;
ments could arrive from Savannah. An express was sent
to Colonel Elbert to ad^dse him of the hostile invasion,
and Major William Baker, with a party of mounted mihtia,
was detached to skirmish with the enemy and, at every
possible point, interrupt his progress. On the morning of
the 24th Colonel White was joined by General Screven
with twenty militiamen. It was resolved to abandon the
present and occupy a new position a mile and a half the
other side of Midway Meeting House where the road was
skirted by a thick wood in which it was thought an am-
buscade might be advantageously laid. McGirth being
well acquainted with the country, and knowing the ground
held by Colonel White, suggested to Prevost the expe-
diency of placing a party in ambush at the very point
selected by the Americans for a similar purpose. It was
further proposed, by an attack and feigned retreat, to
draw Colonel White out of his works and into the snare.
The contending parties arrived upon the ground almost
*He had been for some time stationed at Sunbiiry, and commanded not only the Con-
tinental troops there concentrated, but also all detached companies operating to the
southward. Captain Morris' artillery company constitiited the permanent gaiTison of
simultaneously, and firing immediately commenced. Early
in the action the gallant General Screven, renowned for
his patriotism and beloved for his virtues, received a se-
^'ere wound, fell into the hands of the enemy, and was by
them killed while a prisoner and suffering from a mortal
hurt. A shot fi'om one of the field pieces passed through
the neck of Prevost's horse, and both animal and rider
fell. Major Roman, commanding the artillery, supposing
that the British commander had been killed, quickly ad-
vanced his two field pieces to take advantage of the con-
fusion which ensued, and Major James Jackson, thinking
the enemy was retreating, shouted victory. Prevost how-
ever soon appeared remounted, and advanced in force.
Finding himself overborne by numbers. Colonel White re-
treated upon Midway Meeting House, breaking down the
bridges across the swamp as he retired, and keeping out
small parties to annoy the enemy's flanks. Compelled to
withdraw still further, and desiring by strategem to retard
the advance of the enemy, Colonel White "prepared a
letter as though it had been written to himself by Colonel
Elbert, directing him to retreat in order to draw the Brit-
ish as far as possible, and informing him that a large
body of cavalry had crossed over Ogechee river with or-
ders to gain the roar of the enemy, by which their whole
force would be captured." This letter was so dropped
as in the end to find its way into Colonel Prevost's hands,
who seems to have considered it genuine. It is beheved
that it exerted much influence in retarding his advance,
which was pushed not more than six or seven miles be-
yond Midway Meeting House in the direction of Savan-
nah. Meanwhile, McGirth, with a strong party, reconnoi-
tering in the direction of Sunbury, ascertained the fact
188 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
that the expedition under Lieutenant Colonel Fuser had
not arrived. This circumstance, in connection with the
concentration of the forces of Colonels Elbert and White
at Ogeechee ferrj, where a breastwork was thrown up
and preparation made vigorously to dispute his further
progress, determined Prevost to abandon his enterprise
and return to St. Augustine. Treating the population as
rebels against a lawful sovereign, and utterly refusing to
stipulate for the security of the country, Prevost, upon
his retreat, burnt Midway Meeting House, and all dwell-
ings, negro-quarters, rice-barns, and improvements within
reach. The entire region was ruthlessly plundered ; — the
track of his retreating army being marked by smoking
ruins. His soldiers, unrestrained, indulged in indiscrimi-
nate pillage, appropriating plate, bedding, wearing apparel,
and everything of value capable of easy transportation.
The inhabitants were subjected to insult and indignities.
The region suffered terribly, and the patriotism of the peo-
ple was sorely tried. ^ The scene was such as was subse-
quently repeated when General Augustine Prevost in 1779
raided through the richest plantations of South Carolina, t
* The following lines descriptive of the desolations wrought by this invading force, are
extracted from a quaint old-fashioned poem composed by John Baker, a son of Colonel
John Baker, and foimd among the MSS of the latter :
" Where'er they march, the buildings burn.
Large stacks of rice to ashes turn :
And me [Midwaj^] a pile of ruin made
Before their hellish malice staid.
" Nor did their boundless fury spare
The house devote to God and prayer :
Brick, coal, and ashes shew the place
Which once that sacred house did grace,
" The churchyard, too, no better sped.
The rabble so against the dead
Transported were with direfiil fumes.
They tore up and tincover'd tombs."
t Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. x, p. 294. Boston, 1874.
or when the Federal cavalry under General Kilpatrick,
in tlie winter of 1864-1865, over-ran, occupied, and plun-
dered Liberty county, converting a well ordered and abund-
antly supplied region into an abode of poverty, lawless-
ness, and desolation.
Delayed by head winds. Colonel Fuser did not arrive
in front of Sunbury until Prevost had entered upon his
retreat and was beyond the reach of communication. Late
in November, 1778, his vessels, bearing some five hundred
men, battering cannon, light artillery, and mortars, anchored
off the Colonel's island. A landing was effected at the ship
yard. Thence, the land forces with field pieces, moving
by the main road, marched upon Sunbury. The armed
vessels sailed up Midway river in concert, and took position
in front of the fort and in the back river opposite the town,
simultaneously with its investment on the land side by the
infantry and artillery. Colonel John Mcintosh, with one
hundred and twenty-seven Continental troops, and some
militia and citizens from Sunbury, — numbering less than
two hundred men in all, — held Fort Morris. The town
was otherwise unprotected. Having completed his disposi-
tions, Fuser made the following demand upon Colonel
Mcintosh for the surrender of the fort :
" You cannot be ignorant that four armies are in
motion to reduce this Province. One is already under the
guns of your fort, and may be joined, when I think proper,
by Colonel Prevost who is now at the Medway meeting-
house. The resistance you can, or intend to make, will
only bring destruction upon this country. On the con-
trary, if you will deliver me the fort which you command,
lay down your arms and remain neuter until the fate of
190 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOBGIA.
America is determined, you shall, as well as all of the in-
habitants of this parish, remain in peaceable possession
of your property. Your answer, which I expect in an hour's
time, will determine the fate of this country, whether it is
to be laid in ashes, or remain as above proposed.
" I am Sir,
" Your most obedient, &c.,
" L. Y. FusER,
"Colonel 60th Regiment and Commander of his Majesty's
" Troops in Georgia, on his Majesty's Service."
"Since this letter was closed, some of your people have I
been firing scattering shot about the line. I am to inform
you, that if a stop is not put to such irregular proceedings, ,
I shall burn a house for every shot so fired." f
To this demand the following brave response was prompt-
ly returned by Col. Mcintosh : "
" Fort Morris, Nov. 25, 1778.
" We acknowledge w^e are not ignorant that your army
is in motion to endeavour to reduce this State. We believe
* Mr. Jolin Couper, in a letter dated St. Simon's, 16th April, 1842, and written when he
was eighty-three j^ears of age, gives the following anecdote of the famoiis and eccentric
Captain Rorj- Mcintosh Avho, at the time, had attached himself in a volunteer capacitj' to
the infantry company commanded by Captain Murray, forming part of the 4th Battalion
of the 60th Eegiment. Captain Murray's company was in the lines which Colonel Fuser
had developed around Sunbury and its Fort. "Early one morning," writes Mr. Couper,
" when Rory had made rather free with the 'mountain dew,' he insisted on sallying out
to summons the fort to surrender. His friends could not restrain him, so out he strutted,
claymore in hand, followed by his faithful slave Jim, and approached the fort, roaring
oiit, ' Surrender, you miscreants ! How dare you presume to resist his Majesty's arms ? "
Captain Mcintosh knew him, and, seeing his situation, forbid any one firing, threw open
the gate, and said " Walk in, Mr. Mcintosh, and take possession." "No," said Rory, "I
will not tru?t myself among such vermin : but I order you to siirrendei." A rifle was
fired, the ball from which passed through his face, sideways, under his eyes. He stum-
bled and fell backwards, but immediately recovered and retreated backwards, flourishing
his sword. Several dropping shots followed. Jim called out, " Run, massa — de kill you."
" Run, poor slave," says Rory. " Thou mayest run, but I am of a race that never runs."
In rising fi-om the ground, Jim stated to me, his master, first putting his hand to one
cheek, looked at his bloody hand, and then raising it to the other, jDerceived it also
covered with blood. He backed safely into the lines." t
t White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 472. New York, 1855.
it entirely chimerical that Colonel Prevost is at the Meeting-
House : but should it be so, we are in no degree appre-
hensive of danger from a junction of his army with yours.
We have no property compared with the object we con-
tend for that we value a rush : — and would rather perish
in a vigorous defence than accept of your proposals. We
Sir, are fighting the battles of America, and therefore dis-
dain to remain neutral till its fate is determined. As to
surrendering the fort, receive this laconic reply : Come and
TAKE IT."^" Major Lane, whom I send with this letter, is
directed to satisfy you with respect to the irregular, loose
firing mentioned on the back of your letter,
" I have the honor to be Sir,
" Your most obedient Servant,
" John McIntosh,
" Colonel of Continental Troops,"
In delivering this reply Major Lane informed Colonel
Fuser that the irregular firing of which he complained was
maintained to prevent the English troops from entering
and plundering Sunbury. With regard to the threat that
a house should be burned for every shot fired, Major Lane
stated that if Col, Fuser sanctioned a course so inhuman,
and so totally at variance with the rules of civilized warfare,
he would assure him that Colonel Mcintosh, so far from
being intimidated by the menace, would apply the torch at
his end of the town, whenever Colonel Fuser fired the town
on his side, "and let the flames meet in mutual confla-
* The Legislature of Georgia, in acknowledgment of the conspicuous gallantry of
Colonel Mcintosh on this occasion, voted him a sword with the words Come and take it,
t See White's Historical Collections of Georgia, pp. 523, 524. New York, 1855.
McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 155, 161. Savannah, 1816.
Moultrie's Memoirs of the American Revolution, &c., vol. i, p. 189. New York, 1802,
192 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Instead of assaulting, Fuser hesitated and awaited a
report from scouts whom he had sent into the country to
ascertain the precise movements of Prevost and learn when
his junction might be expected. That officer, as we have
seen, unwilhng, after the affair near Midway Meeting House,
to hazard an engagement with the Continental forces sup-
posed to be advancing from the Great Ogeechee, and sur-
prised at the non-appearance of Fuser before Sunbury, ^
had already commenced his retreat and was beyond the '
reach of easy communication. Surprised and chagrined
at the intelligence, Fuser raised the siege, re-embarked his I
troops, and returned to the St. Johns^ river, where he met
the returned forces of Prevost. Mutual recriminations en-
sued between these officers, each charging upon the other
the responsibility of the failure of the respective expeditions.
K-emembering the superior forces at command, it cannot be
doubted that either singly or in conjunction Prevost and
Fuser could have speedily occupied Sunbury and compelled
a surrender of Fort Morris, had their operations been
vigorously pressed. When we consider the paucity of Con-
tinental troops and militia offering resistance to the invading
column of the one, and the slender garrison opposed to
the investing forces of the other, the small space and the
short time to be overcome in accomplishing a junction, and
the further fact that they both must have been aware of the
near approach to Savannah of Colonel Campbell's expedi-
tion from which these advances from Florida were distinctly
intended to distract the attention of the Kevolutionists,
we cannot but be surprised that Colonels Fuser and Prevost
should thus have abandoned their enterprise when a con-
summation was manifestly within easy grasp. Upon his
retreat from Sunbury Colonel Fuser landed his British
regulars at Frederica with instructions to repair and place
in good defensive conditijon the military works which Gen-
eral Oglethorpe had planned and erected at that point.
Having collected his forces, Gen. Robert Howe marched
to Sunbury. During his short stay there he did little
more than point out and condemn the defenseless con-
dition of the works, and memorialize Congress upon the
dangers which threatened the Georgia coast, the lack of
men and munitions of war, and the disorganization existing
in his scattered army. He was one of those unfortunate
officers who, lacking the energy and the ability to make
the most of the resources at command, and harping upon
the existence of defects and wants which inhered in the
very nature of things, constantly clamored for the unat-
tainable, indulged in frequent complaints, neglected careful
organization, discipline and dispositions, and, on important
occasions, became involved in unnecessary perplexities and
Although relieved from the presence of the enemy, heavy
shadows rested upon the inhabitants of St. John's parish."^
Desolation and ruin were on every hand. The gathered
crops having been burnt, many were without sufficient
means of subsistence, and not a few were compelled to
look elsewhere for support. These tribulations, however,
*The inhabitants of Sunbiiry seem, at times, to have been considerably annoyed by the
lawless conduct of the troops quartered in their midst. So marked were these violations
of good order, that General Howe on the 16th of January, 1778, deemed it proper to call
attention to them in a General Order, from which we make the following extract :
" Complaints have been made to the General that some of the Soldiers have injured the
Buildings in the Town ; and his own observation convinces him that these complaints
are but too well founded. Actions like these disgrace an army, and render it hateful.
Any Soldier who either offers Insult or does Injury to the Persons or Property of the
Inhabitants will be punished in the severest manner. And officers of every degree are
injoined to exert themselves to prevent such Enormities for the future if possible, or to
detect those who may commit them, that they may receive that punishment which such
Actions so richly deserve. Officers of Companies are to take particular care that their
men are made acquainted with this Order."
194 THE DEA.D TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
were but an earnest of sadder ones soon to follow, — trials
so grievous that patriotic hearts were well-nigh overborne
at thought and apprehension of distresses almost beyond
human endurance. These peoples, — the first of the Colony
to declare for freedom, — were on the eve of passing under
a yoke far more oppressive than that from which not three
years before they had sought to escape, and their homes
were to become so desolate that expatriation would be
found preferable to a perplexing residence and distressful
life in the region where they had garnered up present pos-
sessions and future hopes.*
The year 1778 closed gloomily upon the patriots in Geor-
gia. Its capital fell before the advance of Colonel Campbell.
General Howe's army, retiring in confusion and with much *
loss, crossed the Savannah river at Sister's and Zubly's
ferries and rendezvoused in South Carolina, leaving the
newly born State entirely open to the enemy. While at
Cherokee Hill, on his retreat. General Howe dispatched
Lieutenant Tennill with orders to Major Joseph Lane com-
manding at Sunbury to evacuate that post, and, retiring
up the south side of Great Ogeechee river, to join the main
army at Zubly's ferry. This order was received in ample
*If we may credit a contemporary writer, the population of tlie Midway settlement
was considerably demoralized.
" Fields once her [Midway's] glory and her pride.
Weeds, grass, and briars now do hide.
And worst of villains make their home
Where flames had happen'd not to come.
"Instead of preaching, prayers, and praises.
Now on the Gospel holy daj^s
They race, and fight, and swear and game.
Without regard to law or shame.
" They arm'd, disgnis'd, with faces blacked.
Do many villainies transact ;-
The few, few honest that are here.
Do often rob and put in fear."
MS. DiART OF Benj'n Bakeb.
time, if promptly obeyed, to have ensured the salvation
of the garrison ; but Major Lane, moved by the persuasions
of Captain Dollar, — commanding a company of artillery, —
and the entreaties of the citizens of Sunbury, resolved to
disregard the instructions of his General, and assumed the
responsibility of remaining and defending the fort and
town.* The account of the reduction of Fort Morris and
the fall of Sunbury we give in the language of Captain
" On the first notice of the arrival of the transports [con-
veying Colonel Campbell's command,] off the coast of Geor-
gia, General Prevost [then in Florida] marched ; and em-
barked in boats, two thousand men, consisting of artillery,
infantry, loyalists, and Indians. On the 6th of January,
 that part of his army which moved by water was
landed on Colonel's island, seven miles south of Sunbury,
about ten o'clock in the morning ; and Prevost with the
light infantry, marched and took possession of the town
early on the ensuing day. Two American gallies and an
armed sloop cannonaded the enemy, but with little effect.
The following day the main body of the enemy arrived.
Every exertion was made to prevent the landing of the
cannon and mortars near the town, by the fire from the
gallies and the fort. On the night of the 8th they took
advantage of the low tide to pass behind a marsh islandf
opposite to the fort, with a few of their boats containing
cannon, howitzers, and mortars, and landed them above
the town and placed them on batteries previously prepared.
*ror this disobedience of orders Major Lane was subsequently tried by a Court Martial
and dismissed the service.
McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, p. 177. Savannah, 1816.
t This island lying in front of Sunbury, divides Midw^ay river into two channels known
respectively as the front and back rivers.
196 THE DEAJ) TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
On the morning of the 9th Prevost summoned the fort to
surrender unconditionally, accompanied by a statement of
his force and the weight of his metal. Major Lane replied
that his duty, inclination, and means pointed to the pro-
priety of defending the post against any force however
superior it might be. The British batteries of cannon and
mortars were opened on the fort and replied to. Lane
soon discovered that his fortress would not be long tenable,
and began to repent his disobedience of orders. He parlied
to obtain better terms than unconditional surrender, but
no other would be allowed him : and the time having elapsed
for his acceptance or refusal, hostilities recommenced. He
parhed again and requested until eight o'clock the next
morning to consider of the conditions offered to him, which
being peremptorily refused, he assented to them and surren-
dered the fort containing twenty-four pieces of artillery,
ammunition, and provisions, and the garrison consisting of
seventeen commissioned officers and one hundred and
ninety-five non-commissioned officers and privates, including
Continental troops and mihtia. The American loss was
one Captain and three privates killed, and seven wounded.
The British loss was one private killed and three wounded.
"The Washington and Bulloch gaUies were taken to Os-
sabaw island, stranded on the beach, and burned by their
crews, who took passage on board of Captain Salter's
sloop and sailed for Charleston, but were captui^ed by a
British tender and taken to Savannah. Captain John Law-
son, of the sloop Bebecca, of sixteen guns, put to sea
and got safe to Charleston.""^
* McCaU's History of Georgia, vol. u, pp. 177, 179. Savannah, 1816.
General Monltrie,* then at Purysburg. before the news of the surrender of Sunbiiry and
its fort had reached him, wrote to Colonel Pinckney: "I fear we have lost Sunberry and
the two gallies that took shelter under that battery, last Thursday or Friday, as we heard
B After the fall of Sunburj the Continental officers cap-
tured at Savannah were sent to that place on parole.
When General Prevost, after the junction of his forces
with those under Colonel Campbell, moved from the coast
into the interior for the complete subjugation of Georgia,
the command of Savannah and the adjacent country was
confided to Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Innes. . Procla-
mations of the most stringent character were issued by
him, by Colonel Campbell, and by Sir Hyde Parker. The
inhabitants were enjoined to collect their arms and accoutre-
ments of every description, and surrender them to the mili-
tary storekeeper. Should these have been concealed or
buried, as was not infrequently the case, they were to be
uncovered and brought in under pain of rigid search, ex-
posing the delinquent to punishment as an enemy to the
King. Special places were designated for the arrival and
departure of boats and trading vessels ; and permits were
required from the superintendents of such ports for the
receipt or conveyance of property of any description. An
infringement of these regulations worked confiscation of
the goods, and punishment of the crews engaged. Peace,
freedom, and protection were offered to all avIio would at
once return to their allegiance and join the Eoyal standard.
Three months were allowed for the incoming of the dis-
affected and deserters, and Savannah was designated as
the place where the oath of allegiance would be- adminis-
tered. The proclamation of the 11th of January, 1779,
was even more onerous. A reward of two guineas was
a very heavy cannonade from that quarter. The officer commanding had about 120 Con-
tinentals and some inhabitants within the fort, — refused to evacuate the post ; notwith-
standing his receiving positive orders for that purpose he, Don Quixote-like, thought he
was strong enough to withstand the whole force the British had in Georgia, for which, I
think, he deserved to be hanged."
* Memoirs of the American Eevolution, &c., vol. i, p. 259. New York, 1802.
198 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
offered for the apprehension of every citizen still adhering
to the Rebel cause, and ten guineas were promised upon
the surrender of a Committee or Assembly man to any
commanding officer of the King's garrisons. Prices were
prescribed for all articles of merchandise and country pro-
duce. Any deviation from this scale of prices was punished
by the confiscation of the articles exposed for sale. Only
to those who had resumed their allegiance to the Crown
were permits to trade granted, and a fine of one hundred
pounds sterling was collectible against any merchant deal-1
ing with one not an acknowledged and loyal subject of
the King. No produce could be exported except under a
certificate of the superintendent of the port that it was
not wanted for the use of the Royal troops. To the fami-'
lies of those who maintained their devotion to the Rebel
cause no mercy was shown. Stripped of property, — their
homes rendered desolate, — often without food and cloth-
ing, — they were thrown upon the charity of an impoverished
neighborhood. The entire coast region of Georgia was
now open, and the enemy overran and exacted the most
stringent tribute. Many fled from St. John's parish and
from Sunbury upon the first approach of Prevost.
Writing from Purysburg on the 10th of January, 1779,
to Colonel C. C. Pinckney, General Moultrie mentions the
fact that thousands of poor women, children, and negroes
were fleeing from Georgia, — they knew not whither ; — " sad
spectacle that moved the hearts of his soldiers.""^'
For the time being the parish of St. John was in a de-
plorable condition. Multitudes of the inhabitants, unable
to sustain themselves in the midst of the utter destitution
which there prevailed, set out for Carolina, where they sub-
* Memoirs of the American Revoltition, &c., vol. i, p. 259. New York, 1802.
sisted upon the charity of others until the opening spring
afforded an opportunity for planting crops in their new
homes. Others, possessing the means of subsistence, were
so oppressed by the operation of Royal proclamations and
restrictions, that they abandoned the region, seeking refuge
in other quarters. Sunbury suffered a material diminution
of population, and never recovered from the shock then
Although in the enemy's possession, and paralyzed by
the onerous exactions then imposed. Southern Georgia did
not wholly cease from offering resistance. Colonels Twiggs,
Few, and Jones, closely watched the British outposts, cut-
ting off supplies, and harrassing the garrisons whenever
opportunity occurred. Along the sea-coast were found
private armed vessels, in the service of the Revolutionists,
engaged in the removal of Rebel property in the interest
of the owners, and in capturing craft in the employ of
Ascertaining that some British officers had accepted an
invitation from Mr. Thomas Young to dine with him at
Belfast on the 4th of June, 1779, Captain Spencer, com-
manding an American privateer, determined to surprise
and capture the party. For this purpose, proceeding up
Midway river in the evening, he landed between eight and
nine o'clock at night, and, with twelve of his men, enter-
ing the house, made Colonel Cruger and the English offi-
cers at the table prisoners of war. Intending to carry off
some negroes. Captain Spencer kept his prisoners under
guard until morning when, having taken their paroles, he
permitted them to return to Sunbury. Colonel Cruger was
soon after exchanged for Colonel Mcintosh who had been
captured at Briar Creek.
^00 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GE0R(5^lA.
On the 28tli of the same month Major Baker, advancing
toward Sunbury, attacked and defeated a company of
mounted recruits under Captain Goldsmith at the White-
house. Several of the enemy were killed and wounded.
Among the former was Lieutenant Gray, whose head was
almost severed from his body by a sabre cut delivered
by Robert Sallett. Major Baker entered Sunbury with-
It was by these, and kindred partizan exploits, that the
British troops at various detached posts were held in
partial check, and the drooping spirits of the oppressed!
inhabitants from time to time revived.
Upon the appearance of Count D'Estaing's fleet off
the coast of Georgia, General Augustine Prevost concen-
trated as rapidly as he could within the lines around Sav-
annah the various detachments on duty in the vicinity.
That under Lieutenant Colonel Cruger, at Sunbury, was
ordered in and reached Savannah on the 10th of Septem-
ber, just two days prior to the landing of the French
troops at Beaulieu.
It does not lie within the compass of this sketch to
recount the operations of the allied armies under Count
D'Estaing and General Lincoln which culminated in that
bloody and disastrous repulse on the morning of the 9th
of October, 1779. Suffice it to say that Sunbury had her
patriotic representatives among the troops commanded by
General Lachlan Mcintosh, both during the progress of the
siege and in the final assault. Two of them at least attested
with their lives their supreme devotion to the patriot
cause : — Major John Jones who had been for some years a
resident of Sunbury, and who was at the time an aid
* McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 235, 237. Savannah, 1816.
to General Mcintosh ; and Charles Price, formerly a prac-
tising Attorney at Sunbury, and a young gentleman of
promise in his profession.*
Upon the repulse of the allied armies, and after the de-
parture of Count D'Estaing, and the retreat of General
Lincoln into Carolina, the condition of the sea-coast of
Georgia was more pitiable than ever. Exasperated by the
formidable demonstration, and rendered more arrogant and
exacting, the Loyalists set out in every direction upon
missions of insult, pillage, and inhumanity. Plundering
banditti roved about unrestrained, seizing negroes, stock,
furniture, wearing apparel, plate, jewels, and anything they
coveted. Children were severely beaten to compel a revela-
tion of the places where valuable property and money were
concealed. In the language of Captain McCall,t " The
militia who had been under the protection of the British,
not allowing themselves to doubt of the success of the allied
forces, cheerfully participated in a measure which promised
the recovery of the State to the union. Future protection
was not to be expected, and nothing remained for them
but the halter and confiscation from the British or exile
for themselves, and poverty and ill-treatment by an insolent
enemy for their wives and children who were ordered forth-
with to depart the country without the means for travelling
or any other means but a reliance on charity for subsis-
tence on their way.
" The obscene language which was used, and personal in-
sults which were offered to the tender sex, soon rendered
a residence in the country insupportable. Having neither
funds nor means of conveyance for themselves and children,
*McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 270 and 271. Savannah, 1816.
White's Historical Collections of Georgia, pp. 533, 537. New York, 1855.
t History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 283, et seq. Savannah, 1816.
202 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
tliey were obliged to abandon the country under the most
deplorable circumstances and seek a dependent residence
in the adjoining States at the most inclement season of
the year. Numbers whose former condition enabled them
to make their neighboring visits in carriages, were obliged
to travel on foot ; many of them without shoes, through
muddy roads and deep swamps."
Prominent among these raiding Tories was the renegade
Under such depressing influences some portions of Lib-
erty county were almost depopulated. Deprived of a
support from the back-country, and with nothing to sus-
tain commerce from abroad, Sunbury languished. Its de-
cline, inaugurated when Prevost and Cruger demonstra-
ted the insecurity of the position, and confirmed when Ma-
jor Lane surrendered Fort Morris, was now day by day
accelerated. All who could possibly get away fled the
place, and those who remained led lives of disquietude,
and penury. In the face of these difficulties, however.
Commodore Oliver Bowen, Captains Spencer, Howell, Max-
well, Pray, Hardy, Lawson, Stiles, and others owning pri-
vate armed vessels, made frequent voyages along the coast,
capturing parties who were engaged in collecting provisions
for the British troops in Savannah and transporting them
through the inland passages, removing the property of
the Whigs from the down-trodden districts, and occasion-
ally executing summary vengeance upon the crews of such
craft as were known to be enployed upon missions of arson,
robbery, and murder. Sometimes sharply contested naval
engagements occurred, such as that between Captain Brad-
dock with his two American gallies, and the brigantine,
Dunmore, Captain Caldeleugh, mounting twelve guns. The
SUNBURY. ■ 203
Dunmore had sailed from Sunburj for Jamaica, and was
attacked so soon as she crossed St. Catharine bar, on the
18th of September, 1779.
On the 4th of June of this year Captain Howell entered
the inlet of Sunbury, and learned from a negro that he
had been sent out to catch fish for Mr. Kitchins, the Col-
lector of the port, with whom a party of British officers,
both civil and military, were to dine that day, — it being
the King's birthday. Although Mr. Kitchins' house was
within four hundred yards of the fort, — now no longer called
fort Morris, but named by its captors fort George in honor
of his majesty, King George III, — presuming that the as-
sembled guests on this festive occasion would indulge freely
and be found entirely off their guard. Captain Howell re-
solved upon their capture. Ascending the river with muffled
oars, and under cover of the night, the Captain with twelve
men passed the fort without attracting its notice, and, land-
ing at Sunbury, surrounded the house about eleven o'clock
and took the entire party, numbering twelve persons, prison-
ers. Among the captured was Colonel Roger Kelsall, who
had insulted and ill-treated Captain Howell while he was
a prisoner of war. Incensed at the recollection of these
indignities. Captain Howell was on the eve of taking him
out and drowning him in the river, when the prayers of
the lady of the house induced him to spare his life. Hav-
ing exacted from his captives a pledge that they would
not again take up arms until regularly exchanged, Cap-
tain Howell returned, without loss or molestation, to his
Upon the transfer of active operations to the Carolinas,
Sunbury seems to have been but feebly garrisoned by the
enemy. At times, and for a considerable portion of the
204: THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
year 1780, it appears doubtful whether any British force
was there stationed. The Koyal army in Georgia was then
so much reduced that the garrison at Savannah did not
exceed five hundred men.^
The truth is, the available forces of the State had been
so largely withdrawn for service elsewhere, the entire coast
region was so thoroughly impoverished, and so many of the
Whig families had moved away, that there was scarcely
any necessity for maintaining this post except as a matter
of convenience in keeping open the land communication
between Savannah and St. Augustine.
In this exhausted and comparatively quiet condition did
matters remain until the close of the war. We are not
aware that any events occurred in Sunbury, during the
residue of the struggle, worthy of special mention or cal-
culated to rouse the inhabitants from that quietude born
of want and oppression, feebleness and present despair.
The successes of General Greene in CaroHna enabled him
to inaugurate such measures for the relief of Georgia that,
in order to escape from the advancing and investing columns
under General Wayne and Colonel Jackson, the British
garrison embarked on the 11th of July, 1783, and Savannah,
after having been more than four years and a half in the
possession of the enemy, was formally surrendered to the
Patriots who had already virtually achieved the indepen-
dence of the thirteen Confederated States.
Colonel James Jackson was designated by General Wayne
as the officer to receive the surrender of the town ; — a
compliment well merited in view of the patriotism and
gallantry which had distinguished him during the whole
* See letter of Sir James Wright to Lord George Grermain, under date Savannah, 20th
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, p. 314. Savannah, 1873.
war, and in recognition of the recent active and hazardous
service performed by his command while operating in ad-
vance of the army of occupation.
Georgia's losses, particularly along her south-eastern
borders, had been very great. Her slave population, al-
though quiet during the struggle, was essentially demoralized
and reduced. It is estimated that between the 12th and
25th of July, 1783, not less than five thousand negroes made
their escape from Savannah in sailing vessels. Upon the
cessation of hostilities the agricultural and commercial in-
terests of the State were in a most disastrous situation.
Particularly was this the case in Liberty county where
negroes and property of every description had been, from
time to time during the continuance of the struggle, carried
off, patriotic citizens driven into exile, plantations burned
and converted into waste places, and the seeds of poverty
and distress sown broadcast.
On the first Monday in August, 1783, Governor Martin
convened the Legislature in Savannah. Courts of Justice
were re-established, commissioners of confiscated estates
appointed, and measures adopted for the rehabilitation of
the State. It was not, however, until the assembling of the
Constitutional Convention on the first Monday in January,
1784, when Lyman Hall was appointed Governor, George
Walton, Chief Justice ; Samuel Stirk, Attorney General ;
John Milton, Secretary of State ; John Martin, Treasurer,
and Eichard Call, Surveyor General, that the machinery of
reconstruction was fully set in motion.
With the incoming of peace many who had been absent
in the army, and others who had sought, in South Caro-
lina and elsewhere, temporary refuge from the devastations
of the war, returned to their former homes in Sunbury
206 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
and on tlie adjacent plantations, and entered with becom-
ing spirit and energy upon the labor of rebuilding and re-
peopling the desolated region. For a season it seemed as
if the prosperit}^ of this seaport would be revivjed. Not-
a few of its inhabitants, however, having, during the con-
tinuance of hostilities, formed settlements elsewhere, de-
termined to remain where they were, and so the ante bel-
lum population was by no means regained. Others had
died, and others still in their places of retreat found
themselves so impoverished that they could not command
the means requisite for a removal.
The first session of the Superior Court of Liberty county
was held at Sunbury on the 18th of November, 1783, —
their Honors, Chief Justice George Walton, and Assist-
ant Judge Benjamin Andrew, Senior, presiding. On the
20th, the Grand Jury being empanneled and sworn, the
Chief Justice delivered a charge in which, — having alluded
to the fact that good order and subordination had every-
where characterized the courts presided over by him on
this his first riding since the close of the war, and assur-
ed them that nothing could so much contribute to con-
firm the blessings of peace as an observance of the laws
which had for their sole object the general happiness of
the people,^ — he spoke as follows: "I congratulate you,
gentlemen, on the news of a definitive treaty of peace by
which our freedom, sovereignty, and independence are se-
cured. The war which produced it was one of necessity
on our part. That we were enabled to prosecute it with
firmness and perseverance to so glorious an issue, should
be ascribed to the protecting influence of the Great Dis-
poser of events, and be a subject of grateful praise and
adoration. While the result of the contest is so honour-
able and advantageous to ns and to posterity, it is to be
lamented that those moral and religious duties so essential
to the order of society and the permanent happiness of
mankind, have been too much neglected. To recover them
into practice, the life and conduct of every good man should
be a constant example. Your temples, which the profane
instruments of a tyrant laid in ashes, should be built
again : for nothing tends to harmonize the rude and un-
learned organs of man more than frequent meetings in
the places of holy worship. Let the monument of your
brave and virtuous soldier and citizen," which was ordered
by Congress to his memory, be erected on the same
ground, that his virtues and the cause in which he sacrificed
his life may be seen together by your children and re-
membered through distant ages.f
" In the course of the conflict with an enemy whose con-
duct was generally marked with cruelty, the whole State
has suffered undoubtedly more than any in the Confed-
eracy. The citizens of Liberty County, with others, have
drunk deep in the stream of distress. Remembering these
things, we should not lose sight of the value of the prize
we have obtained. And now that w^e are in full possession
of our freedom, w^e should all unite in our endeavours to
benefit and perpetuate the system, that we may always be
happy at home and forever freed from the insults of petty
tyrants commissioned from abroad.":]:
The grand jurors to whom this charge was delivered,
were Joseph Law, William Baker, Senior, James Maxwell
James Jeffries, John Mitchell, Junior, Palmer Goulding,
* General James Screven, who fell in tlie skirmish near Midway Meeting House,
t This monument has never been reared. The obligation is as binding now as when
thus solemnly recognized.
_ + Quoted in White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 530. New York, 1855.
20S THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOROlA.
John Elliott, Jolin Whitehead, Wilham West, Thomas
Bradwell, William Peacock, Senior, Nathan Taylor, John
Hardy, Wilham Baker, Junior, Nathaniel Saxton, James
Powell, William Way, John Myers, Senior, John Way, John
Winn, Edward Way, Joseph Way, and William Quarter man.
By an act approved the 26th of February, 1784, Sunbury
was designated as the place for holding the Superior and
Inferior Courts of Liberty Count}^ They were there held
until, by the act of 1797, Biceborough was made the county
On the 10th of Februarj', 1787, John Baker, John Hardy,
and Alexander Mclver were, by the Legislature, appointed
Commissioners for the port of Simbury, and were invested
with powers similar to those conferred in and by the law
regulating the pilotage of Savannah.
For the better encouragement of trade, the Governor
was authorized to draw on the treasurer of the State in
favor of the Commissioners for the port of Sunbury for
£100. The act further appointed a harbor and tonnage
master, and provided for the collection of tonnage duties,
and an additional sixpence to be levied and set apart for
erecting lighthouses and supporting pilots.
Commerce revi^'ed to a considerable extent, but the trade
of Sunbury did not reach that activity or volume which
existed at the inception of the Bevolutionary war.
The Indians were still troublesome on occasions, coming
from beyond the Alatamaha in predatory bands and making
short but sometimes cruel inroads into the white settlements
On the 24th of October, 1787, a man was scalped within
eighteen miles of Sunbury, and on the 9th of the follow-
ing January, Rogers, Queeling, and Bennett were killed and
* See Watkins' Digest, pi3. 298, 618.
scalped within the limits of the Midway settlement, by a
party of Indians. During this year skirmishes occurred
with the Indians at Phinholloway creek and at Shepherd's
plantation. On the first of May the savages attacked Mr.
Girardeau's plantation, carrying off some of his negroes,
and wounding a young man named Smallwood. Seven days
afterwards they appeared at Colonel Maybank's plantation
and captured a number of his slaves. At Sapelo a young
man was killed by them while milking his cow. On the
6th of June, on the plantation of John Houstoun, Esq.,
McOormick was killed by the Indians, his son scalped, and
three of his daughters and a little boy carried into captivity.
In September, thirteen negroes were stolen by them from
Mr. Quarterman's plantation. Captain Sumner and Liputen-
nant Burnley pursued and overtook them in a swamp on
Taylor's creek. The Indians fled and the negroes were
The militia of the county was constantly on duty to repel
these incursions, and the citizens generally went armed to
church to guard against surprises. To assist the militia,
the inhabitants of Liberty County, at their own charge,
placed and maintained in service for three months " a com-
pany of Horsemen" under the command of Captain Elijah
Lewis. This troop acted as scouts. In September, 1788,
a "Body of Light Horse," — consisting of a captain, two
lieutenants, two sergeants, and forty privates, — was raised
for the defense of the county, and supported by the volun-
tary subscriptions of the inhabitants. It was commanded
by Captain Rudolph, and subsequently by Lieutenant
Whitehead. This company was paid off and disbanded
at Newport Bridge [afterwards called Eiceborough] on the
* See White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 528. New York, 1855.
210 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
28th of March, 1789 : — six privates and one sergeant being
retained in service to act as scouts.^
In these matters of home defense, and in the subsequent
mihtary service which, rendered necessary in 1793, was
continued until, by the treaty of Colerain, a peace was con-
cluded with the Indians, the citizens of Sunbury bore their
On the 8th of December, 1791, an act was adopted en-
titled " An act for the better regulating of the town of Sun-
bury, "t Until its passage no legislative provision had been
made for the incorporation or government of this town,
then in the thirty-third year of its existence.
The general provisions of that act were as follows : On
the second Monday in January next ensuing, and on the
second Monday in January in every third year thereafter,
all proprietors of lots or houses in the town of Sunbury,
of full age, were required to meet at the place of holding
the courts in said town and, under the direction of two or
more justices of the peace for the county of Liberty, pro-
ceed to ballot for five persons, — each of whom should be
the proprietor of a house or lot in Sunbury, and an in-
habitant thereof, and of full age, — who should be styled
"Commissioners of the Town of Sunbury."
On the Monday next following such election it was made
the duty of these Commissioners, or a majority of them,
to assemble and appoint a clerk and such other officers
as they might regard as proper and necessary for the ex-
ecution of the provisions of the act.
Full power was lodged with these Commissioners to
*See Historical Address before the Liberty Independent Troop by the Rev. Dr. Charles
Colcock Jones, pp. 10, 11. Savannah, 1856.
tSee Watkins' Digest, p. 431.
Marbiu'y and Crawford's Digest, pp. 128, 129.
make sucli by-laws and regulations, and impose such pains,
penalties, and forfeitures as they might deem conducive
to the good order and government of the town, provided
the same were not repugnant to the constitution and laws
of the State, and did not extend to life or member.
By the third section the Commissioners, or a majority
of them, were required "yearly and every year to make,
lay, and assess a rate or assessment upon all and every
person or persons who do or shall inhabit, hold, use,
occupy, possess, or enjoy any lot, ground, house, building,
tenement, or hereditament within the limits of the town
of Sunbury, for raising such sum or sums of money as the
said Commissioners or a majority of them shall judge neces-
sary for and towards carrying this act into execution : and
in case of a refusal or neglect to pay such rate or assess-
ment, the same shall be levied and recovered by warrant
of distress and sale of the offender's goods, under the
hands and seals of the said Commissioners or a majority
of them, or under the hand and seal of any justice of the
peace for the County of Liberty."
The concluding section appointed such Commissioners
superintendents of pilotage for the port of Sunbury, and
invested them with the power and authority of Justices
" so far as to keep the peace and preserve good order in
the said town."
By the act of December 12th, 1804,"^ it was provided
that the election of Commissioners should occur annually
on the first Monday of August, and be held in the Sunbury
The Justices of the Peace of Liberty County having
"neglected to hold an election for Commissioners for the
* Clayton's Digest, p. 213.
212 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
town of Sunburj, to the great injury of said town," the
Legislature on the 2d of December, ISOS,"^ directed the
Justices of the Inferior Court of Liberty County "to call
an election for that purpose, giving ten days notice of the
same at the most public place in the town."
In case of failure, at any time thereafter, to elect Com-
missioners on the day appointed, it was made the duty of
the Inferior Court, when notified of the fact, to advertise
This is all the legislation appearing on the Statute books
with reference to the government of the town of Sunbury.
These Commissioners continued to hold office in a quiet
way, — looking after the police and order of the town, — until
about the year 1825, when elections went by default, and
such of the citizens as remained, by common consent man-
aged their premises each after his own fashion, having the
taller weeds in the streets and along the Bay " chopped
down " at irregular intervals, and permitting the cows and
the Bermuda grass to strive for the mastery in the lanes
and upon the common.
In 1801 Sunbury was described as " a seaport in Liberty
County, favoured with a safe and convenient harbour," as
being "a very pleasant, healthy place," and promising
without doubt to become "a port of commercial conse-
quence." "It is resorted to," says Sibbald, "by many
persons during the Summer months ; it has an Academy
under an able instructor. "f
The most famous institution of learning in Southern
Georgia, for many years, was the Sunbury Academy. It
was established by an act of the Legislature assented to
* Clayton's Digest, p. 243.
t "Notes and Observations on tlie Pine Lands of Georgia," &c., p. 65. Augusta, 1801.
the first of February, 1788.* Abiel Holmes, James Dun-
wody, John Elliott, Gideon Dowse, and Peter "Winn were
nominated in the act as Commissioners. To them, or a
majority of them, was authority given to sell at public
sale, poud upon previous notice of thirty days in one of the
gazettes of the State, any confiscated property within the
county of Liberty to the amount of XI, 000. This sum,
when realized, was to be by them expended in the con-
struction of a building suitable for the purposes of the
Academy. Each Commissioner w^as required to execute a
bond, in favor of the Governor of Georgia, in the penalty
of £1,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of the
trust. In 1803 the number of Commissioners was increased
to seven, but two years afterwards the Legislature directed
a return to the original number, which was five.f
As late as December 4th, 1811, the Legislature directed
a grant and conveyance to the Commissioners of Suiibury
Academy, for the sole use and benefit of that institution,
of one-third of a tract of land adjoining Sunbu.ry, known
as the Distillery Tract ; the same having been confiscated
as the estate of Roger Kellsall, and being then the prop-
erty of the State.
The administration of the affairs of this academy dur-
ing the long course of its valuable existence appears at
all times to have been conducted by its trustees with
prudence and skill. Certain it is that until the marked
decadence of Sunbury this institution maintained an en-
viable reputation, and attracted scholars in no inconsid-
erable numbers from various portions of the State, and
even from sister States. The teacher whose name is for
* Watkins' Digest, p. 380.
t Clayton's Digest, pp. 115, 246.
214 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
tlie longest period and most notably associated with the
management of this Academy, and who did more than all
others to establish a standard of scholarship and main-
tain rules of study and discipline unusual in that period
and among these peoples, was the Reverend Dr. William
McWhir. Great was the obligation conferred upon the
youths of Southern Georgia, for certainly two genera-
tions, by this competent instructor and rigid disciplina-
rian. A native of Ireland, a graduate of Belfast College,
and licensed to preach by the Presbytery of that city, he
came to America in 1783 and settled in Alexandria, Virginia.
There, for ten years he was the Principal of the Academy of
which General Washington was a trustee. He was fre-
quently a guest at Mount Yernon, enjoying the hospitality
of that noted mansion. On one occasion while he was
dining with the family. General Washington, as his custom
was, asked the usual blessing. Mrs. Washington, somewhat
surprised that Mr. McWhir had not been invited to do this,
remarked to General Washington, " You forgot that we had
a clergyman at table with us to-day." "No, madam," he
replied, " I did not forget. I desire clergymen, as well as
all others, to see that I am not a graceless man."
About 1793 he removed to Sunbury where he became
the Principal of the Academy and, for nearly thirty years,
made it the leading institution of learning in this entire
region. A thorough Greek, Latin, and English scholar, an
uncompromising observer of prescribed regulations, and a
firm believer in the virtue of the birch as freely applied in
those days in the English and Irish schools in which he had
received his training, he was a terror to all dolts and delin-
quents. To the studious and the ambitious, he always
proved himself a generous instructor, full of suggestion and
I SUNBUEY. 215
encouragement. The higher branches of mathematics were
also taught ; and, as a preparatory school, this institution,
under his guidance, had no superior within the limits of the
State. The average attendance was about seventy. Pupils
were attracted not only from Liberty, but also from the
adjacent counties of Chatham, Bryan, Mcintosh, and Glynn.
Some came fronL even greater distances. Two generations
sat at the feet of this venerable preceptor. Fathers and
sons in turn responded to his nod, and feared his frown.
" A man severe lie was, and stern to view,"
so impartial was he in the support of whatever was just
and of good report, and so competent and thorough as a
teacher, that for more than a quarter of a century his
numerous pupils found in him, above all others, their
mentor, guide, and helper in the thorny paths of knowledge.
Strongly did he impress his character and influence upon
the generations in which he lived, and his name and acts are
even now well remembered. The evening of his days was
spent, as inclination prompted, at the residences of his old
scholars, by whom a cordial welcome was always extended.
That welcome was recognized by him as peculiarly genuine
and agreeable when accompanied by a generous supply of
buttermilk and a ,good glass of wine. The latter might be
dispensed with : a failure to provide the former was, in his
eyes, an unpardonable breach of hospitality, and materially
impaired the comfort of his sojourn, and the tranquility of
the venerable guest.
Among the other teachers at this Academy may be men-
tioned Mr. James E. Morris, the Eev. Mr. Lewis, the Kev.
Mr. Shannon, the Eev. Mr. Thomas Goulding, Uriah Wil-
cox, Eev. Mr. John Boggs, Captain William Hughes, Mr.
^16 THE DEAD TOWNS Ol' GEORGIA.
C. G. Lee, Eev. A. T. Holmes, Rev. S. G. Hillyer, Major
John Winn, Mr. W. T. Feay, and Mr. Oliver W. Stevens.
The building — a large two story and a half double wooden
house, about sixty feet square and located in King's Square, —
was pulled down and sold some time about the year 1842.
As early as 1797 it being manifest that the population of
the town was steadily decreasing, and that its commercial
importance could not be reestablished, it was resolved by a
large majority of the citizens of Liberty that Sunbury, — the
then seat of justice, — was inconveniently situated for con-
ducting the public business, and that North New Port
Bridge was the most eligible location for the Court House
and Jail. Matthew McAllister, Esq. had very generously
offered to convey in fee simple, for public uses, a piece
of ground two hundred and thirty feet in length and one
hundred and fift}" feet in width, situated near " the Bridge,"
without "price or consideration other than a wish on his
part to promote the growth of the town of Riceborough
and benefit the inhabitants thereof." The middle and
upper portions of the county had by this time the con-
trolling vote in public matters, and the Legislature was
memorialized, in opposition to the feebler will of the resi-
dents of Sunbury and its vicinity, to authorize a removal
of the seat of justice. Accordingly, on the 1st of February,
1797, an act was passed appointing Thomas Stevens, Daniel
Stewart, Peter Winn, Joel Walker, and Henry Wood, Com-
missioners to superintend the admeasurement of the land
offered by Mr. McAllister, receive the titles therefor, and
erect thereon and keep in repair a Court House and Jail for
the County of Liberty. The act further provided that after
its passage " all courts and elections heretofore held, and all
public business heretofore transacted at said town of Sun-
bury, should be held and transacted at the said town of
Eiceborough," to which place the County offices and records
were to be removed.^
Riceborough was a more convenient point for shipping
to Savannah the rice, cotton, and agricultural products of
the County, and was much more central for the facile con-
vocation of the citizens and the transaction of public busi-
ness. Sunbury, however, still remained the favorite resort
of the wealthier planters during the summer months, and
maintained a permanent population of perhaps four hun-
dred. The hurricane of 1804, with its wild devastations,
begat a sense of insecurity in the minds of not a few dwellers
on the coast, and to some extent diminished the population
of the town. Soon afterwards, Bermuda grass began to
overspread the bluff and cover, with its deep mat, the
streets and lanes. With its importation the health of the
place became sensibly affected. Chills and high grades of
billions fever grew frequent in the fall of the year, and from
time to time removals occurred to healthier localities.
Many citizens still clung to their old homes rendered so
pleasant by the refreshing sea-breezes and the never-failing
stores of the waters and the orchards, and Sunbury for
many years continued to be the abode of culture, hospi-
tality, and ease. Then came the hurricane of 1824 blowing
down out-houses, bearing away fences, bringing in the sea
in great masses, and carrying fear to many, and even death
to some who resided at exposed points. The wild indigo
disappeared more rapidly than ever, and the dark Bermuda
grass asserted its dominion on every hand. From the
numerous cattle accustomed to feed upon its common and
wander through its streets and lanes, and from the refuse
*See Watkins' Digest, p. 618.
218 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGlA.
of the town, now no longer new, the original sandy soil
became saturated with fertilizing matter, and grew rich.
Thence, under the heat of autumnal suns, year by year rose
exhalations annually more and more prejudicial to health.
Chills and fevers were more frequent, and Sunbury proved
less and less attractive as a summer resort. In 1829 Sher-
wood describes the town as having *' a flourishing academy,
a house of worship for the Baptists, twenty dwelling houses,
two stores, three offices, and a population of one hundred
Ten years before, the Sunbury Female Asylum had been
incorporated by the Legislature of Georgia. t Supported by
the generous charities of kind hearted women, it never en-
joyed a vigorous existence, and after some years suffered a
Although by resolutions adopted on the 18th of November,
1812, and the 12th of November, 1813, the Legislature pro-
vided for stationing troops in the counties of Bryan, Liberty,
Mcintosh, Glynn, and Camden, for the protection of the
sea-coast of Georgia, it does not appear that any permanent
detail was made for Sunbury. The fort, however, was again
placed in tolerable condition, the planters furnishing the
labor requisite for cleaning out the ditch, strengthening
the parapet, and mounting such guns as there remained and
were deemed trustworthy. A few light pieces were obtained
from Savannah and added to the armament. Such gun-
carriages as were manufactured in the county were made
by Jonathan Goulding, of Taylor's Creek. Not a shot, how-
ever, was fired from the fort during the war of 1812-1815.
Although British vessels of war were constantly upon
* Gazetteer of the State of Georgia. Philadelphia, 1829.
t Lamar's Digest, p. 84.
the coast, and the smoke of merchantmen captured, robbed,
and burnt by them was on several occasions seen from
Sunburj, the enemy never ascended Midway river. A
company composed of the citizens of the town and its
vicinity, numbering some forty men and commanded by the
honorable John A. Cuthbert, and another company con-
sisting of the larger boys then students at the Sunbury
Academy, and under the command of Captain [afterwards
Brigadier General] Charles Floyd, were formed for local
defense, drilled at regular intervals, and held themselves
in readiness to act as occasion might require.
Besides these, there were then three volunteer companies
in Liberty County : the Liberty Independent Troop, — Cap-
tain Joseph Jones, — and two infantry companies, com-
manded respectively by Captains Robert Quarterman and
John "Winn. "The Guards," under Captain Winn, were
at one time stationed at Hardwick, in Bryan County.
After his defeat at Point Peter, Captain Jones' cavalry
company and the Bifle company of Captain Quarterman
were ordered to the relief of Major Messias. They were
for some time on duty at Darien.
The militia of the County being well organized and
efficiently officered, was largely engaged in maintaining a
careful watch along the coast. In this service assistance
was rendered by barges and cutters from the American
Navy, which patrolled Midway river and the adjacent inlets,
and not infrequently established their headquarters at
Sunbury. The " Committee of Safety " for Liberty County,
during the war, consisted of General Daniel Stewart, Wil-
liam Fleming, John Winn, John Stacy, John Elliott, John
Stevens, and Joseph Law. These gentlemen were author-
ized to take general charge of the local defense, and to call
220 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
upon the citizens of the County for such labor as appeared
necessary. In case of a refusal on the part of any one to
respond to the requisition, they were instructed to advertise
the name of such dehnquent in the most frequented places,
that he might be held up to public contempt "for having
disgraced the character of the citizen and the patriot."
This Committee assured General C. C. Pinckney of their
ability and willingness to repair and garrison the Fort at
Sunbury, and made requisition upon him for two 18-pounder
guns and a suitable supply of ammunition. In its re-*
modeled condition, the fortification at Sunbury received
at the hands of the Committee of Safety a new name, —
"Fort Defence." As being more easily defended, and re-
quiring a smaller garrison, General Pinckney suggested the
erection of a tower for the protection of Sunbury. This
project, however, was never consummated.
The last vessel of any moment, which Adsited the town,
was a Swedish brig which, in 1814, came in and conveyed
away a load of cotton. Mr. James Holmes was the last
Collector of the port ; and for many years prior to his death
the office was a mere sinecure. Subsequently a Surveyor
was appointed by the General Government whose principal
duty was to sign blank reports and draw his quarterly
salary. The last person who held this office was the genial
Colonel William Maxwell.
Until 1833, the Liberty Independent Troop, — the oldest
volunteer military organization within the limits of Georgia
except the Chatham Artillery, — celebrated the fourth of
July each year at Sunbury. This company was then the
guest of the town, and the recipient of every welcome
and hospitality. The morning was spent in military ex-
ercises, in contentions at the head, ring, and target, and
the afternoon was crowned with a public dinner replete
with good cheer and patriotic speeches. This annual
parade was the event of the year in that quiet community.
On such occasions the U. S. Revenue Cutters stationed
on the coast would generally come up to the town by special
invitation, and participate in the festivities.
The summer retreats established at Jonesville, Fleming-
ton, Hinesville, and Dorchester, compassed the depopulation
of the old town. Without trade, destitute of communica-
tions, and visited more and more each season with fevers,
Sunbury, for nearly thirty years, has ceased to exist save
in name. Its squares, lots, streets, and lanes have been
converted into a corn field. Even the bricks of the ancient
chimneys have been carted away. No sails whiten the
blue waters of Midway river save those of a miserable little
craft employed by its owner in conveying terrapins to
Savannah, The old cemetery is so overgrown with trees
and brambles that the graves of the dead can scarcely be
located after the most diligent search. Fort Morris is
enveloped in a wild growth of cedars and myrtle. Academy,
churches, market, billiard room, wharves, store-houses, resi-
dences, all gone ; only the bold Bermuda covered bluff and
the beautiful river with the green island slumbering in its
embrace to remind us of this lost town. A stranger pausing
here would find no trace of the past once full of life and
importance, but now existent only in ,the skeleton memories
which redeem place and name from that oblivion which
sooner or later is the common lot of all things human. The
same bold bluff, — the same broad expanse of marshes
stretching onward to the confines of the broad Atlantic, —
the same blue outlines of Colonel's island and the Bryan
shore, — the same sea-washed beach of St. Catherine, — the
222 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
same green island dividing the river as it ebbs and flows
with ever restless tide, — the same soft sea-breezes, — the
same bright skies, — the same sweet voices and tranquil
scene which nature gave and stiU perpetuates, — but all else
how changed ! Truly " oblivion is not to be hired." Blindly
scattering her poppy she deals with places as with men, and
they become as though they had not been. Strange that
a town of such repute, and within the confines of a young
and prosperous commonwealth, should have so utterly faded
from the face of the earth !
" The garden with its ai'bor — gone,
And gone the orchard green ;
A shattered chimney stands alone.
Possessor of the scene."
It is with pleasurable sadness and. filial reverence that
we have brought together these fragmentary memories of
a place once the abode of so much refinement, intelligence,
hospitality and patriotism, — the home of Lyman Hall and
Button Gwinnett, — signers of the Declaration of Independ-
ence, — of John Elliott and Alfred Cuthbert, — United States
Senators from Georgia, — and of John A. Cuthbert, mem-
ber of Congress, — the birth-place of William Law, — the
accomplished lawyer, upright judge, and courtly gentle-
man, — and of John E. Ward, — the eloquent advocate,
speaker of the House of Representatives, president of the
Georgia Senate, and United States Minister to China, —
for some years the residence of Bichard Howley and Nathan
Brownson, Governors of Georgia, — claiming intimate asso-
ciation with the Beverend Moses Allen, Benjamin Baker,
Colonels William and John Baker, General Daniel Stewart,
Colonel John Mcintosh, and Major John Jones, patriots
all, who risked fortune and life in support of the primal
struggle for independence, — the scene of the professional
labors of Doctors Dunwoody, Alexander, and West, — and
numbering among its citizens clergymen, teachers, physi-
cians, lawyers, merchants, and planters, whose influence
was appreciated in their day and generation, and whose
names, if here repeated, would challenge respect and
Nature survives, but nearly all the rest is shadow. In
this humid soil so fecund with vegetation, neglected grave-
stones, — covered with brambles and overturned by envious
forest trees, — "tell truth scarce forty years."
During his tour of inspection in 1755, Governor Keynolds
was so much pleased with the natural advantages of the
Great Ogeechee river, that he selected a bluflf upon its
right bank, some fourteen miles from the sea, as a loca-
tion for a new town, which, in honor of his relative the
Lord High Chancellor of England, he named Hardwick.
In his letter to the Board of Trade he says : " Hardwicke
has a charming situation, the winding of the river making
it a peninsula ; and it is the only fit place for the capital."""
There are many objections to this town of Savannah being
so, besides its being situated at the extremity of the prov-
ince, the shoalness of the river, and the great height of the
land, which is very inconvenient in the loading and un-
loading of ships. Many lots have already been granted
in Hardwicke, but only one house is yet built there; and
as the pro^once is unable to be at the expence of erecting
the necessary pubhc buildings, and the annual sum of X500
allowed for erecting and repairing pubhc works, entertain-
*To Mr. Gr. W. J. DeRenne are we indebted for the following memoranda from H. 'M.
Public Record OflBice, Georgia, Vol. 35, B. T., touching the primal settlement, and naming
of Hardwick :
" May 13, 175i.— The Neck of Land called the Elbow on Great Ogeechee River— which
(on the 10th Day of this Month) they had named George-Town."
"4: Feb., 1755. — His Excellency was pleased (with the approbation of the Board) to name
the Town lately laid out at a Place commonly called the Elbow on Great Ogeechee River,
" Minutes of the Proceedings of Vie Governor in Council."
ing Indians, and other incidental expenses being insuffi-
cient for all those purposes, I am in hopes your Lordships
will think proper to get a sufficient sum allowed for erect-
ing a Court-House, an Assembly-House, a Church, and a
Prison at Hardwick; which will be such an encourage-
ment to private people to build there as will soon make it
fit for the seat of government to the universal benefit of
Upon the agitation of this project to transfer the capi-
tal of the colony from Savannah to the Great Ogeechee,t
twenty-seven lots were quickly taken up in the town of
Hardwick, and twenty-one thousand acres of land in its
vicinity were granted to various parties who favored and
promised to develop the enterprize. DeBrahm proposed
that the place should be fortified by the erection of three
polygons, six hundred feet each, and three detached
bastions, to be armed with twenty-five cannon ; and
suggested a garrison of one hundred and fifty men.:]:
The Home Government neglecting to furnish the neces-
sary funds, and Governor Reynolds being without the
means requisite to compass the contemplated change, his
scheme of transferring the seat of government to Hard-
wick was never consummated, and the town, deprived of
its anticipated dignity and importance, developed simply
into a little trading village adapted to the convenience of
* Board of Trade. V. 167.
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 405, 406. New York, 1847.
White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 183. New York, 1855.
tTMs river was then called the Gbeat Hogohechie, which responds more nearly to its
original Indian name than the appellation subseqiiently adopted.
t See Plans and Elevations of the Forts necessary in Georgia, forwarded with Governor
Reynolds' letter of the 5th of January, 1756, and now of file in the Public Record
Ofi&ce, London; Maps B. T., vol. xiii, No. 14.
226 THU DEAD TOWNS 01^ GEOKdlA.
the few who there located and cultivated lands in the
By DeBrahm^ it was reckoned among the five sea-port
towns of the province. Although for many years a port
of entry, its commerce was wholly domestic and coastwise,
being chiefly confined to the conveyance of the products
of the region, in small vessels, to Savannah, and the trans-
portation, in return, of such articles and suppHes as were
needed by the planters.
By the act of the 15th of March, 1758,t dividing Geor-
gia into eight parishes, " the town of Hardwick and
district of Ogechee on the south side of the river Great
Ogechee, extending north west up the said river as far
as the lower Indian trading path leading from Mount
Pleasant, and southward from the town of Hardwick
as far as the swamp of James Dunham, including the
settlements on the north side of the north branches
of the river Midway, with the islands of Ossabaw, and
HTlie design of transferring the Capital of the Colony from Savannah to Hardwick,
conceived by G-overnor Keynolds, was adhered to by his successor. Governor Ellis.
"The depth of water in the river, its more central position, its greater distance from
Charleston — the proximity to which, he argued, restricted the commerce of Savannah —
the convenience of its harbour as a naval station, and the fertility of its adjacent lands,
were the principal motives which operated with him to enforce the plan suggested by
his predecessor. As a consequence of clinging to this scheme of removal, Governor
Reynolds had neglected repairing the .public buildings of Savannah, and its inhabitants
had ceased enlarging and beautifying a town so soon to be deserted. The Filature
was out of repair, the Church was so decayed that it Avas only kept from falling down
by surrounding it with props, and the prison 'was shocking to humanity.'
" The removal of the Seat of Government to Hardwicke, which had received the
favorable notice of former Governors, was discouraged by Sir James Wright, who argued
that if the object of a removal was to obtain a more central position, Hardwicke was
too near ; while, on the other hand, a removal there would be very disadvantageous
to the present capital which was conveniently settled for intercourse with the Indians
and for trade with South Carolina. The project was therefore abandoned, and the
attention of the Assembly was directed to enlarging and strengthening the City which
Oglethorpe had founded."
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 433. Vol. n, p. 19.
* History of the Province of Georgia, &c., p. 25. Wormsloe, 1849.
t Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 151.
from the head of the said Dunham's swamp in a north
west hne," were declared a parish by the name of St.
In 1786^ regulations were prescribed for the inspection
of Tobacco at a warehouse to be erected at Hardwick.
By an Act, assented to on the 19th of December, 1793, t
a new County was laid off from Chatham, and, in honor
of a venerable patriot,:j: was called Bryan.
The legislature which passed this Act constituted John
Wereat, Kobert Holmes, James McGillivray, Wilham Clark,
Simmons Maxwell, Thomas Collier, and Joseph Stiles,
Commissioners for the town and commons of Hardwick,
with power, upon three months' notice pubhshed in the
Georgia Gazette, to cause a survey to be made, as nearly
as possible, in conformity to the original plan of the place.
This survey they were required to record in the office of
the Surveyor of Bryan County ; and also in the office of
the Surveyor General of the State. §
Bj the second section of the Act these Commissioners
were directed to sell at public vendue, to the highest
bidder, at such time and place as they should deem best,
and after published notice of six weeks in the Georgia
Gazette, any vacant lots in the town, and any lots which
should have become vested in the State of Georgia, reserving
such only as might be proper for public uses. The proceeds
arising from these sales were to be primarily apphed to the
erection of a Court House and Jail ; and, if any balance re-
mained in the hands of the Commissioners, it was to be ex-
pended in building an Academy. Within three months after
* Watkin's Digest, p. 339.
tMarbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 167.
+ Jonathan Bryan.
§ Careful search fails to disclose a map of this survey either among the records of
Bryan County, or in the State Archives,
228 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOBGIA.
the completion of such sales these Commissioners were to
make full return to the State Treasurer of the number
of lots sold, the price which each brought, and of the
application of the funds realized.
On the 23rd of December, ITOl,"^ Hardwick was again
designated, by special legislative enactment, as one of the
points in Georgia for the erection of a pubhc ware-house,
and the inspection and shipment of tobacco.
Eight years afterwardst the Justices of the Inferior
Court of Bryan County were authorized to lease, from
time to time, and for a term not exceeding seven years,
the common of Hardwick and the glebe lands of the
County, and apply the rents and profits therefrom arising
to the repair and improvement of the County roads and
Although the Act of 1793 appointed Commissioners and
provided for the erection of a County Court House and
Jail at Hardwick, it does not appear that the contem-
plated buildings were ever constructed. But few terms of
the Superior Court were held at this place. As early as
1797 the General Assembly of Georgia^ authorized the
Justices of the Inferior Court of Bryan County to make
permanent seat of the public buildings "at the Cross-
Roads about two miles from Ogechee bridge, or at any
other place within half a mile of the said Cross-Roads."
For this purpose they were empowered to purchase land
not exceeding two acres in extent.
There the public business was transacted, until, in 1814,
the Legislature! was induced to sanction the selection of
* Marbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. Sii, 546.
tidem., p. 160.
t Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 174.
§ Lamar's Digest, p. 211.
a new site more central in its location and more con-
venient of access to the inhabitants who had multiplied in
the upper portion of the County. Godhilf Smith, Henry
Sherman, James Martin, Zachariah Wells, and Luke Man
were designated as Commissioners to sell the old lot and
buildings at the cross-roads, and purchase in behalf of
the County a parcel of ground at the new site to be
chosen at or near Mansfield, on the Canouchee river, and
superintend the erection thereon of new public buildings.
Thus, instead of becoming the Capital of Georgia, Hard-
wick soon ceased to be even the County-town of Bryan
In Sibbald's "Notes and Observations on the Pine
Lands of Georgia,"^' &c., written in 1801, we find the
following notice of this village : " Hardwick, situated near
the mouth of Ogeechee river in Bryan County, — the navi-
gation being good, and having an extensive river running
through a fertile country, — bids fair to arrive at some con-
siderable degree of Importance." This promise was never
From the best information we can obtain we are per-
suaded that the population of Hardwick probably, at no
time, exceeded one hundred souls. In 1824 Mr. Alexander
Netherclift was the only resident ; and Sherwood, in his
Gazetteer of the State of Georgia for 1829,t speaks of
Hardwick simply as "a cluster of houses in Bryan."
Among those who, from time to time, were inhabitants
of the place, may be mentioned Mr. Clark, Dr. Ward, Mr.
Mifilen, Dr. John Jenkins, Dr. Anthony Benezet, Dr. T. J.
Charlton, Dr. Louis Turner, and Mr. William Savage. The
* Page 65. Augusta, 1801.
t Page 116.
230 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
commerce of Hardwick was never large, and was con-
ducted by means of small craft plying between it and Sa-
vannah. Sloops and schooners sufficed, with occasional
trips, to convey to a market the agricultural products of
the neighborhood, and in return to bring back plantation
After the removal of the public buildings from the Cross-
Roads, and upon the completion of the causeway through
the swamp and of the bridge over the Great Ogeechee
river, — thereby establishing immediate and convenient com-
munication by land with Savannah, — the trade of Hard-
wick declined, and its small stores, — abandoned of their
keepers, — lapsed into decay.
The bluff upon which the town was located rises about
fourteen feet above the level of the Great Ogeechee, and
is distant some two miles from Genesis' Poiut, to which
Fort McAllister gave such heroic memories during the
Confederate struggle for independence. In front, stretching
to the north, is a point of land or peninsula. On the west
the fresh waters of the Great Ogeechee river lave the Hard-
wick bluff, and then treading northward, and at right
angles to the general course of the stream, by a graceful
bend to the east embrace the northern extremity of the
peninsula. Again turning to the south, the river reaches
the eastern bluff of the town, where, curving gently, it
pursues its course, emptying through Ossabaw sound into
the Atlantic Ocean. This peninsula in front of the town
constitutes a dividing line between the fresh and brackish
waters of the river. At the point where it springs from the
bluff it is less than a quarter of a mile wide, although a
journey of several miles is requisite to complete its circuit
From tlie bluff, backward toward the south, extends a
high and dry plain adapted for the location of a town. The
surroundings, however, were unhealthy during the Summer
and Fall months, and there was nothing to encourage popu-
lation, or ensure the continuance and prosperity of the
In 1866 a feeble effort was made to revive the town of
Hardwick ; and the Georgia Legislature on the 21st of
March of that year passed an act the leading provisions
of which are as follows :
After reciting the fact that the Commissioners of Hard-
wick had long ago departed this life, that the site of the
town and its common had been regranted by the State to
private individuals, and suggesting the advisability that
Hardwick should be reestablished for the better advance-
ment of the industrial resources of the State, the Act ap-
pointed Jacob M. Middleton, Thomas C. Arnold, William
Patterson, Henry E. Smith, and John W. MagiU, Commis-
sioners, and authorized them to acquire by cession or pur-
chase the town of Hardwick and its common "not to
exceed one hundred and fifty acres in extent." Having
obtained proper titles to the land, these Commissioners,
or a majority of them, were directed to have the town of
Hardwick surveyed and laid out into lots of such form
and dimensions as they should deem fit. Plans of the
town were to be by them filed in the office of the Clerk
of the Superior Court of Bryan County, and in the office
of the Surveyor General of the State.
Full power was vested in them to sell the town lots,
except such as they might determine to reserve for pubHc
uses. Upon completion of the survey, and upon filing
plans of the town in accordance with the requirements of
232 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKGIA.
the Act, the Commissioners were authorized to select one
of their number as an Intendant. Thereupon they were
declared incorporated by the name and style of the "In-
tendant and Commissioners of the town of Hardwicke," 1 11
with power to make such by-laws and regulations for its
good order and government as were not repugnant to the
constitution and laws of Georgia, and of the United States.
Although fortified by this legislation, no action was taken
by the Commissioners, three of whom are now dead.
Hardwick exists only in name, and will probably never
be vitalized into a municipal entity.
PETERSBURG, JACKSONBOROUGH, FRANGISVILLE, &C, &C.
Near the close of a spring day in 1776 Mr. William Bar-
tram, who, at the request of Dr. Fothergill, of London,
had been for some time carefully studying the flora of Car-
olina, Georgia, and Florida, forded Broad river just above
its confluence with the Savannah, and became the guest of
the commanding ofiicer at Fort James. This fort, — which
he describes as " a four-square stockade with saliant bas-
tions at each angle, mounted with a block-house, where are
some swivel guns, one story higher than the curtains which
are pierced with loop-holes, breast-high, and defended by
small arms," — was situated on an eminence in the forks
of the Savannah and Broad, equidistant from those rivers
and from the extreme point of land formed by their union.
Fort Charlotta. was located about a mile below on the
left bank of the Savannah.
The stockade of Fort James was an acre in extent.
Within this enclosure were a substantial house for the
commandant, officers' quarters, and barracks for the gar-
rison, consisting of fifty rangers well mounted, and armed
each with a rifle, two dragoon pistols, a hanger, a powder
horn, a shot pouch, and a tomahawk.*
For a distance of two miles the peninsula above the fort
was laid out for a town called Dartmouth in honor of the
Earl who had exerted his influence in procuring from the
♦Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., pp. 321, 322. London, 1792.
234 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGlA.
King a grant and special privileges in favor of the Indian
Trading Company of Georgia. For the defense of the ter-
ritory known as the New Purchase, had this fort been erect-
ed and maintained.
Dartmouth never realized the expectations which, in its
infancy, had been formed for it. After a short and feeble
existence it gave place to Petersburg which, during the
tobacco culture in Georgia, attracted to itseK a consider-
able population and was regarded as a place of no little
For the convenience of the early settlers of Eastern-
Middle Georgia, Dionysius Oliver was, on the 3rd of Feb-
ruary, 1786, authorized by the Legislature* to erect a
warehouse on his land, lying in the fork between the Sav-
annah and Broad rivers, for the inspection and storage of
tobacco. With the location of this warehouse dates the
commencement of the town of Peteksbukg.
The cultivation of tobacco was then enlisting the atten-
tion of many planters. In the lower counties of the State
the production of silk had ceased to be remunerative, and
the tillage and manipulation of indigo had not yielded the
Cotton was little grown. Many of the early inhabitants
of the present counties of Elbert, Lincoln, Wilkes, and
Oglethorpe, came from Virginia and brought with them not
only a love for the weed, but a high appreciation of tobacco
as an article of prime commercial value. The virgin lands
of this region were found well adapted to its cultivation :
and, as a consequence, this plant grew rapidly into general
favor and proved the staple commodity or market crop of
the farmers. As the existing laws of the State forbade
*Watkins' Digest, p. 325.
PETEBSBUKG, JACESONBOROUGH, FRANCISVILLE, &C. 235
its exportation without previous inspection and the payment
of specified fees, it became necessary to establish pubHc
warehouses at convenient points where the inspection and
storage of this article could be had. No hogshead or
cask of tobacco could be shipped which did not bear the
stamp of some "lawful inspector."^ These inspectors were
required to give bond for the faithful performance of their
duties, and it was made obligatory upon them to attend
continuously at their respective warehouses from the first
of October to the first of August in each year. It was
their duty carefully to inspect, weigh, receipt for, and stamp
each hogshead delivered at the warehouse. The hogshead
or cask was "not to exceed forty -nine inches in length,
and thirty-one inches in the raising head." Its weight,
when packed, was to be not less than nine hundred and
fifty pounds nett. It was not customary in those primitive
days to transport these hogsheads upon wagons. Vehicles
of all sorts w^ere scarce. The hogshead or cask being made
strong and tight, and having been stoutly coopered, was
furnished with a temporary axle and shaft, to which a horse
was attached. By this means was it trundled to market or
to the public warehouse. Water courses also were freely
taken advantage of for the conveyance of tobacco. The
location of this public warehouse at the confluence of the
Broad and Savannah rivers proved most acceptable to the
tillers of the soil in this rich region, and speedily attracted
merchants who, there fixing their homes, became purchasers
of the tobacco when inspected, and in return sold to the
planters such supplies as they needed.
Petersburg soon assumed the proportions of a respectable
village. It was regularly laid off in town lots, with conve-
* See Watkins' Digest, p. 444,
236 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
nient streets intersecting each other at right angles. The
tobacco warehouses and shops were located as near the
point formed by the confluence of the rivers as the nature
of the ground and the liability to overflow would permit.
The residences were situated above, and occupied lots, each
about three quarters of an acre in extent.
In 1797 "William Watkins secured from the Legislature*
the right to establish upon his lots, — 35 and 37, — in the
town of Petersburg, an extensive warehouse for the inspec-
tion and storage of tobacco.
By an actf of the General Assembly assented to No-
vember 26th, 1802, eighteen of the principal citizens of the
town were incorporated into a society " under the name
and style of the Petersburg Union Society." The avowed
objects of this association were the diffusion of knowledge
and the alleviation of want. It maintained an active ex-
istence for some years and exerted a marked influence for
On the first of December, 1802, J Eobert Thompson, Le-
roy Pope, Richard Easter, Samuel AYatkins, and John
Ragland were appointed Commissioners of the town of
Petersburg, and were charged with its "better regulation
and government." They were to hold office until the first
Monday in January, 1804. Then, and on the first Mon-
day in ever}^ January thereafter, the citizens entitled to
vote for members of the General Assembly were required
to choose by ballot five persons to act as Commissioners
of the town. These Commissioners were invested "with
full power and authority to make such by-laws and regula-
tions, and to inflict or impose such pains, penalties, and
*Watliins' Digest, p. 658.
t Clayton's Digest, p. 58.
$ Clayton's Digest, p. 92.
PETEESBUKG, JACKSONBOROUGH, FRANCISVILLE, &C. 237
forfeitures as in their judgment should be conducive to
the good order and government of the said town of Peters-
burg :" provided such by-laws and regulations were not
repugnant to the constitution and laws of Georgia, and
that the pains and penalties contemplated did not extend
to life or member.
Two years afterwards ^ the powers of these Commission-
ers were materially enlarged, and they were directed to
have a correct plat of the town and commons made by the
County Surveyor and recorded in the office of the Clerk
of the Superior Court of Elbert County.
Speaking of Petersburg in 1800, Mr. George Sibbald
says :t " In point of situation and commercial consequence
it is second only to Augusta. ^ * It is a handsome,
well built Town, and presents to the view of the astonished
traveller, a Town which has risen out of the Woods in a
few years as if by enchantment : It has two Warehouses
for the Inspection of Tobacco."
So long as the cultivation of tobacco engrossed the atten-
tion of the planters in the circumjacent region, Petersburg
continued to be a place of considerable commercial impor-
tance. In the zenith of its prosperity it contained a dis-
tributing post-office, a market place, a town-hall, several
churches, and not less than forty stores and warehouses.
Its population then has been estimated at between seven
and eight hundred souls. During the early part of the
present century its trade was greater than that of Augusta.
It is claimed that goods of a superior quality were then
there sold, and in greater quantities, and at cheaper rates.
A large and lucrative business was transacted by the Peters-^
* Clayton's Digest, p. 182.
t " Notes and Observations on the Pine Lands of Georgia," &c., pp. 62, 63. Augusta,
238 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOKaiA.
burg boats, which, along the line of the Savannah river,
constituted the favorite common carriers of passengers and
goods. The existence of the town was due to the concen-
tration at this point of the tobacco crop of a considerable
area. The necessity for a rigid inspection of this product
forced the planters to bring it here. With Petersburg the
presence of this plant was emphatically the cause of popu-
lation and the parent of trade. After inspection, most of
it was purchased on the spot by merchants and speculators,
who, from their full stores, supplied every need of the pro-
ducers. Thence was it shipped to Augusta and Savannah.
So soon, however, as the cotton plant began to assert its
ascendency, the fortunes of the town commenced to wane.
Requiring no inspection, and capable of easy shipment from
any convenient point, the cotton bales were sent to various
bluffs along the river for transmission to the coast ; and thus
it came to pass that with the discontinuance of the tobacco
culture Petersburg dwindled away and died. Sickness, and
the attractions of new and fertile fields in Alabama hast-
ened its ruin : — and now sunken wells and the mounds of
fallen chimneys are all that attest the former existence of
the town. Its corporate limits are wholly included within
the confines of one well-ordered plantation ; and extensive
fields of corn and cotton have obliterated all traces of ware-
house, shop, town-hall, church, and dwelling.
Beneath the conserving shadows of tall trees which mark
the outlines of the old cemetery on the left bank of Broad
river may still be seen numerous graves, fresh and green
when the town was replete with hfe, but neglected and over-
grown with brambles now that the village too is dead.
I>ETEBSBURG, JACKSONBOROUGH, FRANCISVILLE, &C. 239
A few sleepy houses mark the spot where Lisbon,^ with
envious eye, in former years viewed across Broad river the
rising fortunes of Petersburg ; and, beyond the Savannah,
narrowly scanned the efforts made by Vienna to participate
in the lucrative tobacco trade.
Federal-Town, in Washington County, on the east bank
of the Oconee, was another of these Tobacco villages. It
perished so soon as the cultivation of. cotton became general
in the region, and its fort was no longer required as a pro-
tection against the incursions of the Creeks.
Deprived of the vitalizing influence of the tobacco trade,
Harrisburgh, Edinborough, and other small towns desig-
nated as sites for the inspection of this crop, speedily lapsed
into disuse and decay.
Not infrequently a change in the location of public build-
ings dealt a death-blow to villages of moderate size and
feeble support. Take, for example, the old town of Jack-
SONBOROUGH, confirmed as the county seat of Screven county
on the 15th of February, 1799.t As late as the 20th of
December, 1823, an act J of the Legislature, passed for its
incorporation, designated the Court House as the centre
of the town, and extended the corporate limits a half mile
in every direction. Five years afterwards the " Jackson-
borough Methodist Episcopal Chuich" was incorporated.§
The business of the county was, for some forty years and
more, mainly transacted at this place. Here, too, for some
* The original name of tliis village was the Town of Lincoln. See Sibbald's " Notes and
Observations on the Pine Lands of Georgia," &c., p. 63, Augusta, 1801.
t Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 177.
t Dawson's Digest, p. 450.
§ Dawson's Digest, p, 109.
240 THE DiiAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
time, resided Mr. John Abbot, whose work upon the Lep-
idopterous Insects of Georgia is still highly prized by the
students of Natural History. Upon the removal of the
public buildings to Sylvania in 1847, this place was robbed
of all importance. It was speedily abandoned ; and now
a few sherds of common pottery scattered over the surface
of the ground are all that is left to remind the visitor
that the tide of life was once here.
For more than a quarter of a century Hartford was a
thriving town and the capital of Pulaski county.^ When
in 1837t the Court House and jail were transferred to Haw-
kinsville, ruin and decay overtook the place, and at pres-
ent there is little else save silence, desolation, and sea-
shells on the abandoned Ocmulgee bluff.
Alarmed at the murders committed by the Cherokees,
the Friends forsook their neat abodes above Augusta ; and,
for quite a century, no memory of that primal settlement
has been perpetuated in the neighborhood except by the
Military posts, maintained for temporary purposes, event-
ually fall into disuse and live only in history. We have
already seen Ifow the fortifications, erected for the protection
of the southern frontier of the Colony, when the Spanish
war-cloud had vanished returned to the dust from which
they sprang. Rendered unnecessary by the overleaping
tide of population some were transferred to the outer verge.
♦Clayton's Digest, p. 606.
t Pamphlet Laws of 1836, p. 103.
PETEKSBUEG, JACKSONBOBOUGH, FBANCISVILLE, &C. 241
and these in turn were abandoned upon the assured occu-
pancy of the disputed territory.
Fort Barrington, — its mission ended, — long ago crumbled
into nothingness beside the yellow waters of the Alatamaha.
By DeBrahm's plan and local memories is it preserved from
utter oblivion. Forts Early, Gaines, Haivhins, James,
Lawrence, Perry, Scott, Wayne, and Wilkinson, — and others,
once potent for protection, and important in the military
operations of the State, — deserted alike by soldier and
Indian have utterly perished, and the tillers of the soil
run their peaceful furrows over areas once swept by their
What subsequently became the site of the little town of
Fbancisville, in Crawford County, was at first selected and
used by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins as a convenient locality
for the transaction of the important duties confided to
him by Mr. Jefferson. Here, upon the left bank of the
Flint river, and on the line of what was afterwards the
established route between Macon and Columbus, he resided
for a number of years : devoting his energies to the exe-
cution of the trust devolved upon him as United States
Agent to the Creek Indians, striving to ameliorate their
condition, and by his judicious influence and management
perpetuating amicable relations between them and the
whites. During his occupancy of the Old Agency, as it
came to be known, this place gave manifest indications of
thrift and activity. A considerable plantation was formed,
with residence, mills, work-shops, store-houses, and appur-
tenances requisite for comfort, security, and the conduct
of the business connected with this advanced post. Hither
the Indians repaired for supplies at stated intervals. With
242 THE t>EAD TOWNS OF aEORGlA.
them an extensive traffic was maintained. Aside from the
performance of his official duties, Colonel Hawkins devoted
much attention to rearing cattle and hogs. So extensive
became his herd that at one time he is said to have pos-
sessed not less than five hundred calves. The care of these
animals, and the details of the agency furnished employ-
ment for many subordinates. The Flint river was utilized
as a convenient dividing line to separate the grown kine
from their young. Across this stream a substantial bridge
was constructed, with a gate at either end. This large
stock of cattle and swine enabled him to entertain the
Indians, — who constantly visited him, — with abundant al-
though primitive hospitality, and materiall}^ assisted in per-
petuating the kindly and wide-spread influence which he
exerted over them. While he lived, his cattle brand was
rigidly respected by the Red men ; although, soon after
his death, if report be true, the Creeks, — oblivious of former
obligations, — stole numbers of these cows and hogs. Col-
onel Hawkins was a man of decided mark. To him does
the State of Georgia owe a debt of special gratitude. His
Sketch of the Creek Country* is a most valuable and in-
teresting contribution. The French General Moreau who,
while in exile, was for some time his guest, was so much
impressed with his character and labors that he pronounced
him one of the most remarkable men he had met in
America. "Under the faithful proconsular sway of Col.
Hawkins," says Mr. Chappell,t " the Creek Indians enjoyed
for sixteen years, unbroken peace among themselves and
with their neighbors, and also whatsoever other blessings
were possible to the savage state, which it was his study
* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, part i. Savannah, 1848.
t Miscellanies of G-eorgia, part i, p. 67. Columbus, 1874.
PETERSBURG, JACKSONBOROUGH, FRANCISVILLE, &C. 243
gradnally to ameliorate. To this end he spared no pains.
Much was done to initiate, instruct, and encourage them
in the lower and most indispensable parts of civilization.
Pasturage was brought into use, agriculture also, to some
extent; both together supplanting considerably among them
their previous entire reliance for food on hunting, fishing,
and wild fruits. To the better and more secure modes of
obtaining a livelihood which civilization offers, he sought
to win them by example as well as bj precept. He brought
his slaves from North Carolina, and, under the right con-
ceded to his office, he opened and cultivated a large plan-
tation at the Agency on Flint river, making immense crops
of corn and other provisions. He also reared great herds
of cattle and swine, and having thus alwaj^s abundance of
meat and bread, he was enabled to practice habitually
towards the Indians a profuse, though coarse hospitality
and benevolence which gained their hearts and bound them
to him by ties as loyal and touching as those of old feudal
allegiance and devotion."
Here Colonel Hawkins died in 1816, and was buried on
the wooded bluff overlooking the Flint river, a few hundred
yards below the point of the present crossing. No stone
marks his grave. Among the scattered and almost oblite-
rated mounds in this lonely and forsaken cemetery is one
more prominent than the rest. It may designate the precise
place of his sepulture.
For several years after the death of this prominent man,
who gave impulse and direction to all about him, neglect
and decay supervened. New life was infused into the set-
tlement, however, by Francis Bacon, of Massachusetts, who,
having married Jeffersonia, — the youngest daughter of Col.
Hawkins, — established himself upon the site of the Old
244 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEOEGIA.
Agency, about 1825, and founded the town of Francisville.
Traffic with the surrounding country was freely invited.
Being a man of means, of intelligence, and of enterprise,
matters prospered. Other settlers, attracted by the pros-
pect for gain, purchased lots of about an acre in extent and
located themselves on both sides of the pubhc road. Sev-
eral dry goods and grocery stores, a wagon manufactory, a
blacksmith shop, a drug store, a church, a public school, a
tavern, and a post-office were in time built. From 1830 to
1850 the town had an average population of about one
hundred whites. Much business was here transacted.
Upon the completion of the railway running from Macon
to Columbus the resident merchants sought other and more
convenient localities. Trade languished, was then wholly
diverted, and the town speedily disappeared. Cotton fields
now usurp the domain formerly occupied by the village.
The traveler from the south as he crosses the Flint river,
ascends a long rocky hill, and passes through a narrow lane
on the top, discerns no traces of this dead town. The Old
Agency, — once so important in the early days of this sec-
tion, — exists only in tradition. Francisville, which was
builded upon its ruins, has fallen into nothingness. Tall
trees and a tangled undergrowth hide the graves of the
dead, and there is little else save silence and forgetfulness.
Even the earth-mound which covers the bones of the famous
Colonel Benjamin Hawkins is incapable of positive recog-
nition, and rests under the common oblivion which has
MISCELLANEOUS TOWNS, PLANTATIONS, &G,
DeBrahm in his History of the Province of Georgia*
furnishes us with the following classification of the Towns
in the Province :
"Besides the Metropolis of Savannah upon Savannah
Stream, 17 miles from the Sea,
Are 4 Sea Port Towns,
Hardwick upon Great Ogetchee Stream
Sunburj upon Midway Stream
upon Alatamaha Stream
4 Towns upon
navigable fresh water streams
Brandon ("^^ upon little Eiver, is navigable only to the
Cataract above Augusta, 200 miles from the Sea.
Augusta upon Savannah Stream 150 miles from the Sea.
Queensbury in the Fork of Lambert's River and Great
Ogetchee Stream, 120 miles from the Sea/^^
Ebenezer upon Savannah Stream 57 miles from the Sea.
4 Villages of which
two are upon a navigable River,
* Wormsloe, 1849, pp. 25, 26.
(a) Since Gov. Wright's Administration this Place (being deserted in Gov'r Eeynolds'
time by Edmond Grey) revived again nnder the name of Wrightsborough inhabited
by above 60 Families, and its Township contains about 200 Families all Quakers;
they are indulged by the Gov'r; that no Person, but such as they approve, shall be
permitted to settle among them.
(6) Queensbury is inhabited by about 70, and its Environs by above 200 Families
mostly Irish, from which it is generally called the Irish Settlement.
THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
upon Vernon Biver
upon the Head of Yernon River!"
The enumeration contained in "Histoire et Commerce
des Colonies Angloises dans I'Amerique Septentionale,"^
is essentially similar : " On partage la Georgie en doux
divisions. La Septentrionale comprend ;
New-Ebenezer }- Yilles. Hampstead.
Augusta J High-Gate. |- Yillages.
La meridionale est moins peuplee, on n'y trouve que
deux villes & un village.
Frederica 1 )
y Yilles Barikmake [ Yillage."
New-Inverness j 3
Savannah and Augusta still exist and are justly reckoned
among the most opulent, beautiful, and attractive cities of
the Empire State of the South. In their locations the
judgment of the early Colonists has been sanctioned by
the favorable experience of nearly a century and a half.
New Inverness has given place to Darien which, amid
shifting fortunes, is still supported by the lumber trade
and the rice crop of the Alatamaha. Of the memories
of Frederica, Sunbury, New and Old Ebenezer, Bethany,
Hardwick, and Abercorn, we have already spoken ; and
it remains for us in a few words to mention some smaller
and insignificant towns, projected in the early days of
the Colony, which have long since lost their identity
p. 235. A. La Haye, 1755.
MISCELLANEOUS TOWNS, PLANTATIONS, &C. 24?
amid the changes of population and the vicissitudes of
Brandon may be recognized as still maintaining a feeble
existence in the later village of Wrightsboro, although its
original features and peculiarities have encountered essen-
tial modifications. The founder of Brandon was Edmund
Grey, a pretending Quaker, who came from Virginia with
a number of followers. A man of strong will and marked
influence, he was nevertheless a pestilent fellow, and, dur-
ing Governor Eeynolds' administration, was compelled to
abandon his little town. He subsequently formed a settle-
ment on the neutral lands lying between the Alatamaha
and the St. Johns rivers. Thither flocked criminals, and
debtors anxious to escape the just demands of their
Brandon on Little river was revived by Joseph Mattock,
a Quaker, who having obtained for himself and friends a
grant of forty thousand acres of land, called the town
Wbightsboeg in honor of Governor Sir James Wright,
who favored the establishment of the new colony. Mr.
Mattock hospitably entertained Mr. William Bar tram in
1773, by whom he is described as a public spirited man
about seventy years of age, hearty, active, and presiding
as the chief magistrate of the settlement, t We recall no
special incidents in the history of this town. Its life was
uneventful, and at present it can scarcely claim even a
*DeBrahm's History of the Province of Georgia, p. 30. Wormsloe, 1849.
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 406, 407. New York, 1847.
+ Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., pp. 35, 36. London, 1792.
248 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
Between four and five miles southwest of Savannah, as
its limits were at first ascertained, and on rising ground,
the village of High-gate was laid out in 1733. Twelve
families, — mostly French, — were here located. A mile to
the eastward the village of Hampstead was formed the same
year, and peopled by twelve families, — chiefly German.
These settlers were engaged in gardening, and their prin-
cipal business was to supply the inhabitants of Savannah
with vegetables. Francis Moore, who visited these little
towns in the spring of 1736, describes them as being
" pretty," and says that the " Planters are very forward,
having built neat Huts and clear'd and planted a great
deal of Land."
It would appear, however, that the prosperity of these
villages was of short duration. We are informed that in
1740 but two families remained at High-gate, while Hamp-
stead was enth'elv abandoned."*
For the protection of the few families to whom a home
at Thunderbolt had been assigned, a small fort was erected ;
but as early as 1737 it had faUen into decay.
On the north-east point of Skidoway island, ten families
were placed and a fort built in 1734. This attempt at colo-
nization proved so unsuccessful that four years afterwards
the village had disappeared and the fortification was in a
deserted and ruinous condition.
*For furtlier notices of these villages see 'Moore's Voyage to Georgia," p . 32. London,
1744. "An Account Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia," &c., p. 35. London,
1741. "A State of the Province of Georgia, attested tipon Oath," &c., p. 10. London,
1742. "Extract of the Rev'd Mr. John Wesley's Journal," &c., p. 61. Bristol, n. d. "A
True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia," &;c., p. 109. Charles-Town, 1741.
" An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia," &c., p. 51.
MISCELLANEOUS l^OWNS, PLAN^Al^IONS, &C. 249
A similar fatality attended the effort to plant a colony
of ten families near the light-house on Tybee island the
year after Savannah was settled.
So long as Foet Argyle was garrisoned, the ten free-
holders who established their plantations in its vicinity
strove to render their cultivation profitable : but, upon the
withdrawal of the Rangers, eight of them removed, and
within a short time all signs of industry disappeared.
The labors of the Scottish colonists at Joseph's Town
were prosecuted but a few years, and that settlement was
quickly numbered among the failures which occurred on
Near fort St. Andrew on the north-east extremity of Cum-
berland island grew up the village of Barrimackb, which,
about 1740, embraced some twenty-four families. When
General Oglethorpe's regiment was withdrawn, from the
southern frontier, this town speedily died, and for more
than a century all traces of its former existence have been
Similar is the history of the German village of gardeners
and fishermen which stood near the southern end of the
military road connecting Frederica with St. Simons.
Of the meagre and uneventful lives of Acton and Yernon-
burgh on Vernon river, of Goshen and Bethany near the
Savannah, of Williamsburgh, and Fort Barrington on the
Alatamaha, and 'of Queensbury on the Great Ogeechee,
we feel scarce called upon to speak. Were we not dealing
exclusively with the dead towns of Georgia, we might enume-
rate others which, in their moribund condition and present
250 THE DEAD TOWNS OE GEORGIA.
dilapidation, perpetuate little more than the names and
sites which they at first received.
Of the more prominent plantations estabhshed at an early
date we may mention those of Colonel Cochran, Captain
Gascoin, and Lieutenant Horton on St. Simon's island, —
of Messrs. Carr and Carteret on the main, — of Sir Francis
Bathurst, Walter Augustine, Robert Williams, Patrick Tail-
fer, Jacob Matthews, Mr. Cooksey, and Captain Watson on
the Savannah river, — of Mr. Houstoun on the Little Ogee-
chee, — of the Messrs. Sterling on the Great Ogeechee river, —
of Messrs, Noble Jones, Henry Parker, and John Fallow-
field on the Isle of Hope, — of Oxtead, the settlement of Mr.
Thomas Causton on Augustine creek, — of the Hermitage,
the abode of Hugh Anderson, — of Mr. Thomas Christie, —
of the twenty German families sent over by Count Zinzen-
dorf, — of Mr. William Williamson, — of the Trustees, com-
mitted to the care of William Bradley, — of Mr. Thomas
Jones, — and of president WiUiam Stephens at Bewlie. This
last plantation consisted of a grant of five hundred acres at
the mouth of Vernon river, and was confirmed by General
Oglethorpe on the 19th of April, 1738. Of this place Mr.
Stephens, on the '21st of March, 1739, writes as follows : " I
was now called upon to give the Place a Name ; and there-
upon naturally revolving in my Thoughts divers Places in
my native Country, to try if I could find any that had a
Resemblance to this ; I fancied that Beiolie, a Manor of his
Grace the Duke of Montague in the Neiu Forest, was not
unlike it much as to its Situation ; and being on the Skirts
of that Forest, had Plenty of large Timber growing every-
where near ; moreover a fine Arm of the Sea running close
by, which parts the Isle of Wight from the main Land, and
makes a beautiful Prospect ; from all which Tradition teUs
MISCELLANEOUS TOWNS, PLANTATIONS, &C. 251
US it took its Name and was antieutly called Beaulieu,
though now vulgiaiiy Beiulie : only by leaving out the a in
the first Syllable, and the u in the end of the last.""^
This is the true account of the original cession and
naming of that attractive bluff rendered memorable in after
years by the debarcation of Count D'Estaing on the 12th
of September, 1779, and by the erection of formidable bat-
teries for the protection of this approach to the cit}^ of
Savannah during the Confederate struggle for independence.
These plantations, and others which might be enumerated,
have, loitli a single exception, so far as our information
extends, lost all traces of primal occupancy and passed
into the ownership of strangers. We allude to the beautiful
plantation of Woemsloe on the Isle of Hope. Of this
interesting spot we have the following description penned
by an intelligent visitor who made his observations in 1743.
He was then, in an open boat, journeying towards Savannah
from St. Catharine's island, where a short season had been
spent in the companionship of the friendly Indians who
were dwellers there. " We arrived in somewhat more than
two Days at the Narroivs where there is a kind of Manclie-
colas Fort for their Defence, garrison'd from Wormsloe,
where we soon arriv'd. It is the settlement of Mr. Jones
10 Miles S. E. of Savannah, and we could not help observ-
ing as we passed, several very pretty Plantations.
" Wormsloe is one of the most agreeable Spots I ever
saw, and the Improvements of that ingenious Man are very
extraordinary : He commands a Company of Marines who
are quarter'd in Huts near his House, which is also a tol-
erable defensible Place with small Arms. From the House
*"A Journal of tlie Proceediugs in Georgia," &c., vol. u, pp. 166, 318, 319. London,
252 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
there is a Yista of near three Miles cut thro' the Woods to
Mr. Whitefield's Orphan House, which has a ver}'- fine Effect
on the Sight."^
After concluding his visit to Sayannah, this gentleman
" set out in one of Captain Jones s Scout Boats mann'd by
a Party of his Marine Co}npoMy, and had a very pleasant
Passage to Fort Frederick on the Island of Port Boycd in
South Carolina.'' -f
Noble Jones, the proprietor of Wormsloe, was a Lieu-
tenant commanding thirty men, — volunteers and enlisted
from Savannah, — in General Oglethorpe's expedition against
St. Augustine. He was subsequently assigned to the com-
mand of a scout and guard boat and a company of marines
to watch the " Narrows at Skedowa}^ " and the " Inlets of
the near adjoining Sea ;" more especially " those near him
of Wassaw and Ussuybaw, lest any surprise should hap-
pen." His guard-boat was armed " with a small swivel
Gun " in the bow ; and, in February, 1741, upon the appear-
ance of a Spanish Privateer on the coast, " One of our
smartest Pieces of Cannon," says Stephens, " carrying a
four Pound Ball, and well mounted," was delivered to him
to assist in the coast defense. J
At Wormsloe may still be seen the remains of the Tabby
Fortification constructed by Captain Noble Jones. The
outhne of the work and its general features are well pre-
served, and constitute, perhaps, the most unique and inter-
esting historical ruin on the Georgia coast.
With aU its wealth of magnificent live-oaks, palmettoes,
magnolias, and cedars ; with its quiet, gentle views, balmy
* London Magazine for 1745, p. 552.
tidem, p. 604.
J Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, vol. ii, pp. 472, 492, 497.
Idem, vol. iii, pp. 13, 16, 17, 124, 206. London, 1742.
MISCELLANEOUS TOWNS, PLANTATIONS, &C. 253
airs, soft sunlight, inviting repose, and pleasant traditions,
this beautiful residence has at all times remained in the
possession and ownership of the descendants of the original
proprietor. Mr. G. W. J. DeKenne now guards the spot
with all the tender care and devotion of a most loyal son,
and to the memories of the past has added literary and
cultivated associations in the present, which impart new
charms to the name of Wormsloe.
In this youthful country, so careless of and indifferent
to the memories of other days, — so ignorant of the value
of monuments and the impressive lessons of antiquity,—
where no law of primogeniture encourages in the son the
conservation of the abode and heirlooms of his fathers, —
where new fields, cheap lands, and novel enterprises at
remote points are luring the loves of succeeding genera-
tions from the gardens which delighted, the hoary oaks
which sheltered, and the fertile fields which nourished
their ancestors, — where paternal estates are constantly
alienated at public and private sales, — landed acquisitions
are placed at the mercy of speculative strangers, and
family treasures, established inheritances, and old home-
steads are seldom preserved. Thus it comes to pass
that ancestral graves lie neglected, abodes once noted
for refinement, intelligence, virtue, and hospitality lose
their identity in the ownership of strangers, and tradi-
tions worthy of transmission, are forgotten amid the
selfish engagements of an alien present.
The utilitarian may smile at this, the Republican rejoice
in it as a logical sequence of his cherished theories, and
the disciples of Benjamin Franklin pronounce in favor
of such a condition of affairs, but there is a deal of sad-
ness about it nevertheless ; and if this order of things
254 THE DEAD TOWNS OF GEORGIA.
obtain in the coming years as it has in those which are gone,
America will continue to be largely a land without perma-
nent homes, — a country devoid of ancestral monuments:
In planting colonies where proper preliminary surveys
have not been made, and where the founders are com-
pelled in large measure to grope their way in selecting
points for earliest occupancy, errors of judgement will
occur, and changes will be necessitated upon a more
intimate acquaintance with the territory and during the
progress of development. Locations at first deemed es-
sential become subordinate to others, and sometimes
prove of no value. Mistakes are committed with regard
to the importance of streams, lines of communication, and
the desirability of permanent seats. Defensive positions
are rendered useless as the tide of human life advances.
Barren fields are exchanged for others possessing greater
fertility. Diseases are developed at certain points which
compel their abandonment.
Settlements increase. to the annihilation or absorption of
others in their vicinity. The possessions of the many
become concentrated in the ownership of the few. Towns
perish for lack of support. Thus nothing is more common
than to observe, amid the changes consequent upon the
development of new plantations, a mortality among vil-
lages and settlements for which, at the outset, growth and
lasting prosperity were confidently anticipated.
"It hath been a great endangering to the health of
some plantations," says Lord Bacon, "that they have built
along the sea and rivers in marish and unwholesome
grounds ; therefore though you begin there to avoid car-
riage and other like discommodities, yet build still rather
upwards from the stream, than along.
MISCELLANEOUS TOWNS, PLANTATIONS, &C. 255
Had this precaution been observed, fewer towns would
have died in Georgia.
After all, however, despite the admonitions of the wisest
and the foresight of the most experienced, we cannot
hope to arrest the potent influence of inherent decay, or
to stay that unseen hand which remorselessly worketh
change and destruction among human habitations.
" Out upon Time ! it will leave no more
Of the things to come than the things before !
Out upon Time ! who forever will leave
But enough of the Past for the Future to grieve
O'er that which hath been, and o'er that which must be :
What we have seen, our sons shall see ;
Remnants of things that have pass'd away,
Fragments of Stone rear'd by Creatures of Clay."
Abercoen, 14 Its location and settlement,
137. Saltzburgers refreshed at, 138.
Mr. Stephens' visit to, 138-139. Oc-
cupied by Col. Campbell, 140. Feeble
life of, 139-140.
Abbott, John, 240.
African slaves, 171.
Alexander, Dr. 222.
Allen, Rev. Moses, 222.
Amelia island, 59, 77, 97.
Anastasia island, 85.
Andrew, Benjamin, Sr., 206.
Antrobus, Isaac, 157.
Argyle, the Duke of, 91.
Augspourguer, Samuel, 26.
Bachelor's redoubt, 96.
Bacon, Francis, 244.
Baillie, Kenneth, 145, 146.
Baker, Benjamin, 194, 222.
Baker, John, 188.
Baker, Captain John, 178. Colonel, 185, 222.
Baker, Major William, 186, 200, 222.
Barba, Captain Antonio, 108, 109.
Barker, Joseph, 19.
Barrimacke, village of, 97, 249.
Bartram, William, visits Frederica, 128-129.
His visit to, and description of Sun-
bury, 169, 170. His description of
Fort James, 233, 247.
Belfast, Captain Spencer's exploit at, 199.
Bergman, Kev. John Ernest, 40.
Bermuda, emigrants from in Sunbury, 156.
Bermuda island, 157, 169, 171.
Bewlie, 250, 251.
Black-Sloop, the privateer, 99.
Blanford, the man of war, 67,
Bloody-marsh, affair of, 108, 109.
Bolzius, Rev. John Martin, 11, 14, 18, 25, 27,
Bosomworth, Thomas, 155.
Bosomworth, Mary, 155.
Bowen, Commodore Oliver, 202.
Braddock, Captain, affair with the Dun-
Brandon, village of, 245, 247.
Brewery on Jekyll island, 93.
British exactions, 197-199.
Brooks, Francis, 78.
Brownson, Governor Nathan, 222.
Bryan, Jonathan, 178, 183.
Bull, Lieutenant-Governor, 102.
Bulloch, Archibald, 174.
Bull-Town Swamp, affair at, 185.
Cadogan, Lieutenant, 110.
Call, Richard, 205.
Campbell, Colonel, 140, 192, 194, 197.
Canal, through General's island, 96. To
connect Midway and North-Newport
Carney, Captain Arthur, 130.
Carolina, refuses to aid Georgia, 102.
Caroline, Queen, 26.
Carr, Mark, cession of lands to, 143, 144. A
marked man in the Colony, 143. Con-
veys land to Trustees for Town of
Carr, Thomas, 155.
Cathcart, Ensign, 88.
Chappell, A. H., 242, 243.
Christ Church, Parish of, 35.
Cochrane, Lieut. Col. James, 60.
Colonel's island, Fuser lands upon, 189.
Commissioners for the port of Sunbury, 208.
Commissioners of Frederica, 132, 133.
Cook, Lieut. Col., 104.
Cooper, Colonel, 178.
Couper, John, 190.
Cornish, Captain, 50, 52.
Counties in Georgia in 1777, 172.
Craemer, Christopher, 36.
Cruger, Col. 199, 200,
Cumberland island, 59, 97.
Cuthbert, Hon. Alfred, 222.
Cuthbert, Hon. John A, 219, 222.
Darien, 55. Description of, in 1743, 116.
Dartmouth, Earl of, 127, 176.
Dartmouth, town of, 233, 234.
Dasher, Martin, 37.
DeBrahm, John Gerar, William, 21, 30, 34
225, 226, 245.
D'Estaing, Count, 40, 200.
Defatt, Captain, 183.
Delegal, Ensign, G3.
Delegal, Lieutenant, 63.
Delegal's fort, 63.
Demere, Captain Raymond, 94, 109, 110.
DeRenne, Mr. G. W. J., 253.
Desbrisay, Captain, 88.
Dollar, Captain, 195.
Dorchester settlement, 150.
Dorchester Society, 149. Removal to Mid-
Avay district, 150-154.
Dunbar, Captain, 51, 104, 106, 108.
Dunbar, Lieutenant George, 56, 81.
Dunwody, Dr., 223.
Ebenezer, Old. Location of, 13. Settle-
ment of, 14-15. Accession to popula-
tion of, 17. Sickness at, 17. Inhabi-
tants of, dissatisfied with situation,
18. Removal to New Ebenezer, 19.
Ebenezer, New. Location of, 19, 20. Plan
of the town of, 21. Condition of in
1738-9, 21, 24. ailk-cultUre at, 25-30.
Mill-establishment at, 32. Church
property, 33. Librarj^ at, 34. Period
of greatest prosperity of, 35. Divi-
sion of sentiment at commencement
of Revolutionary War, 36. Occiipied
by Lieut. Col. Maitland, 36. Fortified,
36. Sufterings of inhabtants of,
during the war, 37 et seq. Decay of,
40. Revival of the prosperity of, 40.
Its decline, 41, 42. Made the County-
town of Effingham County, 41. Re-
moval of public buildings to Spring-
field, 41, 42. Glebe lands of, sold, 42.
Present appearance of, 43, 44.
Ef&ngham County, 35.
Elbert, Col. S., 129. Reports capture of the
Hiuchinbrooke, 130-131, 183, 187.
Elfenstein, Jacob, 37.
Elfenstein, Joshua, 37.
Elliott, Grey, 145, 146.
Elliott, John, 145, 146, 222.
Ellis, Governor, 149, 179.
Embarcation, the great, 15, 16.
English language introduced into the Saltz-
burger Churches, 42.
Eyre, Ensign, 104.
Falcon, the sloop, 99.
Federal Town, 239.
Few, Col., 199.
Filature in Savannah, 27-29.
Floerl, John, 36.
Floyd, Gen. Charles, 219.
Forces, estimate of Spanish and English,
during the attack upon St. Simon's
Fort Argyle, 47, 48, 142, 181, 249.
Barrington, 181, 241.
Francis de Papa, 81.
Frederick, 127, 128, 181.
St. Andrews, 59, 61, 73, 97.
St. Francis, 78. ,
St. George, 61, 180. '
St. Simons, 60, 61.
William, 61, 97, 104, 105, 113, 181.
Franklin, Dr. Benjamin, 146.
Frederica, 17, 45, 48. Arrival of Colonists
at, 51. Town and fort laid out, 51-53,
Plan of the town, 53-54. Labors of
the early settlers of, 54-55, Location
of the town of, 55. Harbor of, 55-56.
Attractions and health of the place,
56, 57. Indian dance at, 60. Fort
strengthened and water battery con-
striicted, 61, 62. Supplied with water
and bread, 62. Powder magazine and
store-house built, 64. Courageous
spirit of the inhabitants of, 64. Gar-
rison reinforced by Oglethorpe's regi-
ment, 67, 68, Military road connect-
ing with Soldiers' fort, 68, 69. De
pressing condition of affairs at, 70, 71
Enclosed by a fortification, 72. Pop
ulation of, in 1740, 94, 95. Defensive
works and general appearance of, 96
Spanish demonstration against, 107
114. Strengthened by Oglethorpe
117, 148. Magazine blown up, 119;
Condition and appearance of in 1743
119-126. Description of in 1747, 125^
126. Troops withdrawn from, 126;
129. Visited by Governor Reynolds
127. New defensive works suggested
127. Visited by Bartram., 128,^ 129
Col. Elbert's description of, in 1777;
129. State legislation in regard to
132, 134. Capture of the Hiuchin-
brooke near, 130, 131.
Frederica, Military works of, ordered to be
repaired, 132. Town burnt, 13'2. Com-
missioners of, appointed, 132, 133.
Sibbald's description of, 134. Ceases
to exist, 135. Kemble's description
of its ruins, 136.
French deserter. 111, 112.
Fuser, Lieut. Col. 132, 158, 185. Threatens
Sunbury, 189, 192. Summons Fort
Morris to surrender, 189. Eaises the
siege of Sunbury, 192.
Galatea, escape of the, 132.
General's island, canal cut through, 96.
Georgia, original cession of lands to the
Trustees of the Colony of, 47.
Georgia's losses, 205.
German village on St. Simon's island, 122,
Germain, Lord George, 185,
Gibbon, Ensign, 109, 110.
Gibraltar, troops from, 66.
Goldsmith, Captain, 200.
Goshen, 30, 249.
Gray, Lieutenant, 200.
Greene, Gen. Nathaniel, 204.
Grey, Edmund, 247.
Gronau, Rev. Israel Christian, 11, 18, 25.
Gwinnett, Button, 129, 156, 174, 222.
Habersham, Mr., 29.
Hall, Dr. Lyman, 173, 175, 177, 205, 222.
Hampstead, village of, 248.
Hardy, Captain, 114, 202.
Hardwick, named in 1755, 224. Suggested
as the Capital of Georgia, 224, 225.
Fortifications for, planned by De-
Brahm, 225. Grant of lands for set-
tlers of, 225. State legislation in re-
gard to, 227, 228, 231, 232. Ceases to
be the County site of Bryan Co., 228,
229. Sibbald's description of, 229.
Population of, 229. Inhabitants of,
229. Its commerce, 230. Its deca-
dence, 229. Its location, 229, 230.
Attempted revival of, 231.
Harrington HalL 94.
Harris, Dr., 70.
Hawkins, Col. Benjamin, 241-243.
Heathcote, Alderman, 70.
Hector, the man of war, 67.
Hermsdorf, Captain, 15, 17, 51.
Heron, Major, 88, 99, 106.
Highlanders, settlement of at New Inver-
ness, 48, 49. Braverj' of, 49. Two,
butchered on Amelia island, 77, 78.
Highlanders, Killed at Fort Moosa, 87.
Plantation of, on Amelia island, 97.
Hinchinbrooke, capture of the, 130-131.
Holsendorf, William, 37.
Homer, Captain, 104.
Horcasilas, General, 103.
Horton, Mr., .50, 6.5, 71, 96.
Horton, Captain, 105, 108, 113, 119.
Houstoun, John, 174.
Howe, Gen'l Robert, 130, 184, 185, 193, 194.
Howell, Captain, 202. Att'air at Sunbury, 203.
Howley, Richard, 222.
Indian Allies, 97.
Indian Chief, valor of, 89.
Indian dance, 60.
Indian depredations, 208, 209.
Indian fields, 55.
Ingham, Rev. Mr., 15.
Innes, Col. Alexander, 197.
Insurrection of negro slaves, 74, 75.
Jackson, Major James, 187, 204.
Jacksonborough, 239, 240.
Jacksonborough Methodist Episcopal
Jasper, Sergeant, 38.
Jekyll, Sir Joseph, 68.
Jerusalem Church, 25. 32, 36, 38, 39.
Jones, Captain Joseph, 219.
Jones, Major John, 200, 222.
Jones, Captain Noble, 108, 251, 252.
Jones, Hon. Noble W., 174.
Joseph's Town, 137, 138, 249.
Kelsall, Col. Roger, 203.
Kemble, Frances Anne, 136.
Kilpatrick, Gen. Judson, 189.
Kitchen, James, 157.
Kitchins, Collector, 203.
Lamab, Captain C. A. L., 182.
Lands, tenure of in Georgia, 144, 145.
Lane, Major, 180, 191, 194. Surrenders Fort
Morris, 195, 196.
Law, William, 222.
Lawrence, John, Jr., 125-126.
Lawson, Captain John, 196, 202.
Lee, Gen'l Charles, 183.
Lee, Francis, 155.
Lembke, Rev. Mr., 25, 32.
Lewis, Captain Elijah, 209.
Liberty County, 172, 176, 205, 208, 209, 210,
Liberty Independent Troop, 220.
Library of New Ebenezer, 34.
Lincoln, General Benjamin, 40, 200.
Lombe, Sir Thomas, 25.
London Merchant, the ship, 50.
Lord, Rev. Joseph, 150.
Lyell, Sir Charles, 57.
MacClellan, Captain, 119-120.
MacKay, Captain Hugli, 49, 55, 58, 59, 73.
MacKay. Lieutenant, 104,109.
Magazine at Frederica, blown up, 119.
Malcontents, 100, 101.
Martin, John, 155, 205.
Martyu, Benjamin, 21, 24, 26, 45, 46.
Mattock, Joseph, 247.
Maxwell, Lieutenant, 104.
Maxwell, Captain, 202.
Maxwell, James, 145, 146.
Maybank, Col. Andrew. 178.
McAllister, Matthew, 216.
McCall, Captain Hugh, 108, 156, 195, 196, 201.
McGirth, 185, 187, 202.
Mcintosh, Col. John, 184, 189, 190, 191. 199,
Mcintosh, John Moore, 49.
Mcintosh, General Lachlan, 49, 130, 200.
Mcintosh, Kory. 190.
McPherson, Captain. 48, 50.
McWhir, Rev'd Dr. Wm., 214, 215.
Messias, Major, 219.
Midnight, the sloop. 50.
Midway, the district of, 147, 151, 188.
Midway Congregation, 149-154, 170.
Midway Meeting House, 170. Aftair near,
186-188. Burnt by Prevost, 188.
Midway river, 147, 148.
Milton, John, 205.
Miscellaneous plantations in Georgia, 250.
Miscellaneous towns in Georgia, 245-246.
Mistakes in early Colonization, 253-255.
Monteano, Don Manuel de, 102, 112, 113.
Moore, Francis, 16, 18, 50, 56, 58, 248.
Moosa, fort, 84, 85.
Morris, Fort, 180, 183. Invested by Lieut.
Col. Fuser, 189, 192. Summoned to
surrender, 189. Captured by Prevost,
195, 196. Named changed, 196, 220.
Moultrie, General Wm., 140, 198.
Muhlenburg, Eev. Dr., 32.
Mulberry trees, 26.
Negeo slaves, 74, 205.
NeAV Castle, the Duke of, 98.
New Inverness, settlement of, 48. Descrip-
tion of in 1743, 116.
Newton, Sergeant, 38.
Nitschman, Rev. David, 15.
Norfolk, the sloop, 99.
North Newport Bridge, affair at the, 186.
Ogeechee Feekt, 188.
Oglethorpe, James E., 12.
Oglethorpe, Designates a settlement for
the Saltzburgers, 13, 14. Accom-
panies great embarcation. 16. Visits
New Ebenezer, 18. Consents to a
change in the location of the town,
18. Suggests silk-culture in Geor-
gia, 25, 26. Offers reasons for
founding the Colony of Georgia, 46,
47. Provides homes for emigrants,
47. Explores the southern frontiers.
48. Accompanies Colonists to Fred-
erica, 51, 53. Locates town and forti-
cations at Frederica, 51-54. Pre-
scribes the labors of the settlers, 54.
Disabuses the minds of the Colonists
of the fear of alligators, 58. As-
certains boundary line between
Georgia and Florida 58, 59. Lo-
cates Fort St. Andrews, 59: Fort
William, 61 : and Fort St. George, 61.
His activityandboldDessin protecting
the southern frontier, 61, 62, 70, 71.
Accomplishes temporary adjustment
of disputes with the Spaniards in
Florida, 64, 65. Embarks for England,
65. Appointed General of all the forces
in Carolina and Georgia. 66. Author-
ized to raise a regiment, and com-
missioned Colonel, 66. Raises his
regiment, 66, 67. Arrives with troops
in Jekyll Sound, 67. Constructs mili-
tary road connecting Frederica and
the Soldiers' Fort, 68, 69. Advises
Alderman Heathqote and the Trustees
of the depressing condition of affairs,
70, 71. Attempted assassination of, 73,
74. Propitiates the Indian nations,
75, 76. Acts as one of the pall-bearers
of Tomo-chi-chi, 76. Pursues the
Spaniards, 78. Prepares for the re-
duction of St. Augustine, 79-81. Cap-
tures Forts Francis de Papa, and
Diego, 81. Proposes to take St. Au-
gustine "sword in hand," 82. Ad-
vances upon and invests St. Au-
gustine, 85-88. Raises the siege of
that place, 88. Causes of his fail-
ure to capture the town, 88-90.
Conduct of, complimented by the
Duke of Argyle, 91. Sick of a fever,
91-92. Ceaseless activity of, 92, 93.
His cottage near Frederica, 93, 94.
Narrowly watches St. Augustine, 97,
98. His control over the Indians,
97, 98. Asks reinforcements from the
Hom« Government, 98. His manly
Oglethorpe, Demonstration off the har-
bor of St. Augustine, 99. Assailed by
malcontents, 100, 101. His account
of the Spanish attack upon St. Si-
mon's island, 103-114. Estimate of
his services, 115, 116. Congratulated
by the G-overnors of the Colonies,
117. Strengthens the fortifications of
Frederica, 117. Invades Florida and
threatens St. Augustine, 118.
Oglethorpe, Departs for England, 119.
Oglethorpe's regiment, 66. Mutiny in, 73,
Oglethorpe's Cottage near Frederica, 93, 94.
Old Agency, the, 241-243.
Oranges, wild, on Amelia island, 97.
Osgood, Rev. Mr., 170.
Ottolenghe, Mr., 28.
Palmer, Col., 85. Killed at Fort Moosa,
Parker, Sir Hyde, 197.
Periaguas, 52, 71.
Peter and James, the sloop, 52
Petersburg. Its situation, 234. Declared
a depot for the inspection and storage
of tobacco, 234, Its plan, 235-236.
Legislative provisions in reference
to, 236. Sibbald's account of, 237.
Its dwellings, stores, population, and
trade, 237. A tobacco town, 238. Its
Petersbux-g Union Society, 236.
Petersburg Boats, 237-238.
Peyton, Sir Yelverton. 67, 83, 85.
Pinckney, Col. C. C, 184, 196, 220.
Pike's Bluff, 96.
Point Quartel, 85.
Pray, Capt., 202.
Prevost, Gen. Augustine, 185, 188. Cap-
tures Sunbury, 195-196, 200.
Prevost, Lieut. Col. Mark, 185, 186-188.
Price, Charles, 201.
Price, Commodore Vincent, 80.
Proprietors of the Town of Sunbury, 159-
Puritan element in 3t. John's Parish, 176,
Quaker Spring, 240.
Quarterman, Capt. Robert, 219.
Queensbury, town of, 245.
Rabenhorst, Mr., 32, 36, 37.
Rahn, Jonathan, 37.
Reynolds, Gov. John, visits Frederica, 127.
Suggests new defenses, 127.
Reynolds, Gov. John, locates Hard wick, 224,
and suggests it as the capital of Geor-
Riceboro, made the county seat of Liberty
Riceboro Bridge, affair at, 186.
Road connecting Frederica and the Sol-
dier's Fort, 68, 69.
Road connecting Savannah and Darien, 55.
Rodondo, Major General Antonio de, 102.
Roman, Major, 187.
Rudolph, Captain, 209.
Salgrado, Don Antonio, 86.
Sallett, Robert, 200.
Salter, Captain, 196.
Saltzburgers, 11. Arrival in Georgia, 12.
Locate at Ebenezer, 13. Desire a
change of settlement, 18. Change ef-
fected, 19. Remove to New Ebenezer,
20, et seq. : Occupations of, 23. Char-
acter of, 24. Cultivation of silk by,
25-30. Settlements of in Georgia, 30-
31. Sufferings of during the Revo-
lutionary war, 37, et secx. Removal
of to various points, 42.
Sanchio, Captain, 108.
Savannah, evacuated, 204.
Schnider, J. Gotlieb, 37.
Schnider, John, 37.
Schnider, Jonathan, 37.
Screven, General, 186. Killed, 187, 207.
Scroggs, Lieutenant, 108.
Sea-Point Battery, 64.
Sherwood, Abiel, 218.
Sibbald, George, 134, 212, 229, 237.
Silk -Culture in Georgia, 25-30.
Skidoway Island, 248.
Soldier's Fort, 67, 68.
Spalding, Mr. James, 128.
Spalding, Hon. Thomas, 69, 75, 94, 97, 98.
Spanish Forces in Florida in January, 1740,
82. In 1742, 102, 103.
Spencer, Capt., exploit at Belfast, 199, 202.
Spur, the, 62.
St. Augustine, its defenses, 81. Reinforced,
83. Invested by Oglethorpe, 83-84.
Siege of, 84-88. Siege raised, 87-88.
Causes of Oglethorpe's failure to cap-
ture, 89, 90. Narrowly watched by
Oglethorpe, 98. Scarcity of food in^
98. Demonstration of Oglethorpe be-
fore the harbor of, 99.
St. Augustine.Threatenedby Oglethorpe, 118
St. Catherine, Island of, 155, 156.
St. John. Parish of, 148, 149, 171, 172-178,
St. Matthew, Parish of, U, 35.
St. Simon, Island of; its attractions, 57.
Attack of the Spaniards upon, 103-
St. Simon, village of, 96, 107. Destroyed by
the Spaniards, 112.
Stephens, William, 19, 65. Visits Ogle-
thorpe, 91. Appointed Deputy Gen-
eral of Georgia, 119. His description
of Abercorn, 139. Owns and names
Bewlie, 250, 251.
Stevens, John, 145, 146.
Stewart, General Daniel, 219, 222.
Stiles, Captain, 202.
Stirk, Col. John, 36, 37.
Stirk, Secretary Samiiel, 37, 205.
Strobel, Rev. P. A., 20, 32, 37, 43, 44.
Strohaker, Rudolph, 37.
Stuart, Lieutenant, 113.
Success, the ship, 105, 106.
Sunbury Academy, 222-215. Teachers of,
Sunbury Female Asylum, 218.
Sunbxiry, Town of, its location, 141-143.
Conveyance of 300 acres of land to
the Trustees of, 145. Signification of
the name of, 145, 146. Condition of
the Midway District at the period of
the settlement of. 149-154. Plan of,
154. Declared a port of entry, 155.
Emigrants from Bermuda in, 156.
Commerce of, 157-158. Health of,
158. Proprietors of, 159-169. Bar-
tram's description of, 169, 170. Popu-
lation of. at era of greatest prosperity,
170. 171, Exports, and imports of,
171. Character of its population, 171.
Its wharves, 171. Its government,
172. Rebellious spirit of its inhabi-
tants, 175. Fort built at, 178, 179.
Location, construction, and arma-
ment of Fort Morris, 181-183 Threat-
ened by Colonel Mark Prevost, 187.
Invested by Lieut. Col. Fuser, 189-
192. Siege raised, 192. Houses of,
injured by the garrison, 193. Its de-
pressed condition, 194. Reduction of
Fort Morris, 195-196. Captured by
Prevost, 195, 196. Languishes, 202.
Affair of Captain Howell at, 203. In-
crease of population, 205, 206. Chief
Justice Walton's Charge to the Grand
Jury in, 206, 207. Designated as the
point for holding the Superior and
Inferior Courts of Liberty County,
208. Commissioners appointed for
the port of, 208.
Sunbury, Revival of the trade of, 208.
Indian incursions in the neigh-
borhood of, 208. Public acts for
the regulation of, 210-212. Descrip-
tion of, in 1801, 212. Sunbury Acade-
my, 212-215. Removal of the public
buildings to Riceboro, 216-217. De-
cline and ill-health of, 217, 218. Sher-
wood's description of, 218. Female
Asylum, 218. Port rebuilt, 218. Fourth
of July celebrations in, 220, 221. Its
decadence, 221. Present condition of,
221, 222. Its noted inhabitants, &c.,
Siitherland, Lieutenant, 109.
Symond, the ship, 50.
Tannek, Mr., 50.
Tennill, Lieutenant, 194.
Thomas, Captain, 50, 52.
Thompson, Captain, 105, 106. His descrip-
tion of Frederica in 1747, 125, 126.
Tobacco, culture and inspection of in Geor-
gia, 234, 235
Tolson, Lieutenant, 105.
Tomo-chi-chi, 48, 50 58, 60. Death and
. burial of, 76, 77.
Toonahowi 77, 81, 108.
Treutlen, John Adam, 36, 37.
Triebner, Rev. Christopher F. , 32, 36, 37, 40.
Trustees of Sunbury, 145.
Tuckasee— King, 41.
Twiggs, Colonel, 199.
Tybee, Island of 249.
Tyrrell, Captain, 79
Vandekdtjssen, Colonel, 79, 80, 85, 87, 88.
Vatt, Mr., 15.
Vernon, Admiral, 79, 98.
Vienna, the Town of, 239.
Von Reck, Baron, 12, 15.
Waldhauek, Jacob, 36.
Waller, the Poet, 143.
Walton, Hon George, 205-207.
Ward, Hon. John E., 222.
Warren, Captain, 83, 86.
Washington, General George, 214.
Wayne, General Anthony, 40, 204.
Wentworth, General, 103.
Wesley, Rev. Charles, 15.
Wesley, Rev. John, 15, 19, 22.
West, Dr., 222.
West, Major Charles, 178.
White, Colonel John, 186, 187. His strata-
Whitefield, Rev. George, 66, 115.
White House, affair at the, 200.
Winn, Captain John, 219.
Wormsloe, plantation of, 251, Description
of in 1743, 251-252. Tabby Fort at,
252. Present appearance of, 253.
Wright, Sir James, 29. Reports condition
of Fort Frederick, 128 ; of Sunbury,
157. Comments upon disloyalty of
St. John's Parish, 176.
Wright, Sir James. Reports dilapidated
condition of the Forts on the Geor-
gia coast, 180, 181, 247.
YomsTG, Mr. Thomas, 199.
ZioN Church, 25.
Zittrauer, Ernest, 37.
Zubly, Rev. Dr., 174.
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